US startup company delivers Web videos to cell phones

US startup company delivers Web videos to cell phones

By MAY WON, AP Technology Writer

Watching a wide variety of Web videos from cell phones could get easier thanks to a California startup that lets users design their own video channel lineup for on-the-go entertainment.

Sunnyvale-based mywaves Inc. officially launches its service Monday. It quietly released its test version in October and has been attracting more than 20,000 new users per week since, the company said.

CNN news clips and YouTube videos would be accessible through the service, which works across wireless carriers with high-speed data networks. The mywaves service is free, but users need a data plan with their carrier and must pay for related data-traffic fees.

While Google Inc.-owned YouTube has inked direct deals such as with Verizon Wireless to feature its content through Verizon's V Cast multimedia service, mywaves aims to give users of any carrier the flexibility to choose from publicly available, free video content from across the Web.

Users would download mywaves to their phones, and from its Web site they could browse a directory of video channels that mywaves users have already publicly posted. A "channel" might be a link to online video sites or a specific line of YouTube videos, such as the popular "Ask a Ninja" or "lonelygirl15." Selecting a video channel to go on your personal mywaves mobile program guide takes a few button clicks.

Personal videos taken from a user's cell phone could also be uploaded to mywaves and be broadcast to others or kept on a private channel which the creator could make viewable to others by invitation-only.

From their cell phones, users could check out videos they've placed in their mywaves channel guide. Mywaves also will send text-message notifications of any updated video content if the user wants to know when there's something new to watch.

A growing number of companies are capitalizing on so-called user-generated video entertainment on sites such as YouTube and looking to deliver video content to mobile gadgets.

But no one has yet produced a wide-ranging video package in this easy-to-use channel format, said Ben Bajarin, an industry analyst at technology consulting firm Creative Strategies.

"It's a fresh way to deliver Internet content to a mobile phone," Bajarin said. "But it's very difficult to do what they've done. No one is pushing the mobile barrier like this with user-generated content."