MoboVivo readies content for iPod

It's starting small, but Calgary's MoboVivo believes it will be first in Canada to offer legal, paid, downloadable TV shows for the Apple Video iPod.

It’s starting small, but Calgary’s MoboVivo believes it will be first in Canada to offer legal, paid, downloadable TV shows for the Apple Video iPod.

At press time, the only confirmed programs the company would be offering as of late April were Namaste, a yoga show licensed from CHUM’s Access, and Fashion File from CBC.

MoboVivo CEO Trevor Doerksen says other lifestyle shows and docs will roll out in early May. He adds that he is currently in talks with ‘every broadcaster in the country.’

To what extent those broadcasters will support MoboVivo remains an open question, however. While terms of the CHUM deal were not revealed, the CBC deal is non-exclusive.

Doerksen says that exclusivity is not crucial, because mobile content can serve a couple of purposes – either as a marketing tool or an asset to sell. He cites the example of ABC temporarily providing its popular Lost drama free for online viewing at the same time that iTunes is offering it as a paid download. MoboVivo will still have a place, he says.

‘ABC is doing both [marketing and selling], as are our partners,’ Doerksen says. ‘And of course we’re hopeful that we become a solution that they can see as helping them on other things.’

CHUM, meanwhile, declined to make its VJ Search available to MoboVivo, and is instead providing the show free for download.

Doerksen says he also has agreements in place with four small Canadian producers and two small international producers, with details to be announced.

MoboVivo will offer programs for download at $1.99 to $3 for a 22-minute, commercial-free episode, with 44-minute shows expected to retail at the same rate. Doerksen says most shows will be available immediately after their TV airing, while others may be at the rerun stage. He declined to elaborate on royalty agreements with content owners.

Apple has not yet introduced iTunes video to Canada, but is expected to do so in the near future. Doerksen doesn’t expect MoboVivo to be in competition with iTunes, but concedes that iTunes will likely offer content already licensed by MoboVivo and ‘we’ll have to work out a deal where we split the pie a little bit more.’

www.mobovivo.com