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2007 Make, Break Year For Mobile Video

2007 could prove to be a crucial year for mobile video and content services in the U.S. Analysts have been skeptical that charging mobile phone users to use similar or in some cases the same content that they could find on the Internet for free, will work. Mobile users have shown they're willing to pay extra for text messages, ringtones and mobile games, but mobile video has no predecessor.

Also, who's in charge of the content--the content providers or the carriers? How will revenue be distributed? These are questions that need ironing out.

Nevertheless, companies like News Corp.'s MySpace, and Viacom's MTV are forging ahead, striking deals with major carriers to provide their content-most of which is free online-on mobile phones for a premium. This month, MySpace signed a deal with Cingular that lets its users edit, view and post photos and video to their profiles as well as send and receive messages.

MTV Networks, meanwhile, has created its own mobile content unit that will make ringtones, games, videos and other material based on its brands. Their plans are global, too, as both companies are now in talks with European and Asian carriers.

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