YouTube Goes Mobile Via Verizon Wireless

Online video-sharing service YouTube is extending its reach beyond PCs to mobile phones through a deal with Verizon Wireless.

Under the deal announced Tuesday, YouTube will offer a sampling of the most popular videos available through its service, which allows users to watch and share videos on the Web.

Unlike the YouTube website service, which is free, the company’s mobile phone offering will require a US$15-a-month subscription to a Verizon Wireless service called V Cast. Users don’t have to pay airtime charges to stream or watch V Cast content, but they must have a V Cast-enabled handset.

The service is expected to be available next month, the companies said.

Numerous mobile phone companies are expected to introduce user-generated content services, like YouTube, to create content customers are willing to pay to watch, said Emma Mohr-McClune, senior analyst with Current Analysis.

YouTube and Verizon Wireless provided no financial details, but said Verizon would have exclusive rights to distribute YouTube videos on mobile phones "for a limited period of time."

Last month, Google paid $1.65 billion to acquire YouTube.

-John Blau, IDG News Service (Dusseldorf Bureau)

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