MTV going Bananas for mobile

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MTV is offering its branded music and television content wrapped up as ringtones and wallpapers through the launch of a mobile subscription service, the company said Wednesday.

The service, dubbed Bananas, features exclusive visual and music-related content from MTV, MTV2 and mtvU as well as record labels.

Along with ringtones and wallpapers, content in the form of sound bites, cast photos and graphics from such shows as "Laguna Beach," "The Real World," "Two-a-Days," "Rob & Big" and "The Hills" and past series like "Beavis & Butt-head" will be offered.

"We know that our audience is looking for great viewing experiences on multiple screens, and we're focused on creating quality entertainment they'll love for mobile," MTV president Christina Norman said.

The service, which uses Motricity's mobile service platform, eventually will add video. It is offered in two packages, one costing $5.99 that offers two ringtones and one wallpaper a month and another at $9.99 offering four ringtones and two wallpapers per month.

It builds on MTV's other mobile offerings, including made-for-mobile original video series "Sway's Hip-Hop Owner's Manual" and mobile content produced for such series as "Laguna Beach" and "The Hills."

"We're really excited about being able to connect with our viewers and to provide new ways to get our content," MTVN Mobile Media Group senior vp Greg Clayman said. "What this does is gives consumers new ways of connecting with our brands and the music they love."

Clayman, who recently was appointed senior vp at the newly formed MTVN Mobile Media Group (HR 12/19), said the inspiration for the service's name relates to the monkey's past role as the first to explore new terrain before humans. He also said the name symbolizes the choice to obtain mobile products one at a time or in a bunch.

Additionally on Wednesday, MTV Networks' Logo launched a video application on the Sprint Vision and Power Vision networks.

Content includes news, "Wisecrack" stand-up comedy, celebrity interviews, sneak previews of upcoming Logo shows and travel information from "TripOut" and a mix of short films and music videos.
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