In an unusual alliance of Web video brands, Metacafe has launched an iPhone application powered by Babelgum. Content on the new ad-supported app created by Babelgum will offer select material from both companies, and will launch with channels focused on stand-up and sketch comedy, animation, how-to videos, and sports.
The partnership also includes the launch of a branded Babelgum channel on Metacafe. Last spring, London-based Babelgugm ditched its P2P software in favor of a browser-based player and adopted a lineup of mostly independent programming aimed at urban hipsters.
The deal could give a boost to Babelgum, which has only a tiny audience compared to the 46 million unique monthly viewers that Metacafe commands worldwide. At the same time, Metacafe hopes to benefit from the mobile technology expertise of Babelgum, which launched its own iPhone app earlier this year.
The new Metacafe app will feature banner ads, and ad revenue on both the mobile and online side will be split on an undisclosed basis between Metacafe and Babelgum. A Metacafe spokesperson said the app holds the potential for extending sponsorships from the Web site to mobile phones.
The company is already talking with possible advertisers for "The Metacafe Comedy Minute," a segment spotlighting a new comedy video each day, with sponsored branding woven tightly into the video-viewing experience and related promotions. Metacafe lately has concentrated on rolling out new content verticals to attract targeted advertising. Last month, it launched a video games hub featuring trailers, reviews, news, interviews and walkthroughs for major video game releases.
Separately, CNBC announced Monday that it had launched a free new app for the iPhone that lets users get real-time stock quotes, breaking news alerts and more than 150 video-on-demand clips a day from the business-focused cable TV network.