'American Idol' heads to iPhone

New application to include contestant videos, bios

SAN DIEGO -- FremantleMedia is launching a new mobile application for fans of "American Idol."

Apple iPhone and iPod Touch users will be able to get videos of the current 13 finalists in a confessional format, along with bios, pictures, news and other behind-the-scenes content from the reigning TV ratings leader.

For a one-time $1.99 charge, the application will be updated for users on a weekly basis for the rest of this season with a total of 78 videos available between now and the finale. The application will also let fans test their talent-spotting power by enabling them to predict and then track which contestants stay and which go.

David Luner, FremantleMedia North America senior vp for interactive and consumer products, notes that among the 25 million weekly viewers of "Idol," "We have millions of people who are going online because they want to get more. We've been looking for groundbreaking avenues to get them more content, and we think that this 'American Idol' Season 8 app provides that."

FremantleMedia has been aggressively moving to leverage "Idol" to as many different platforms as possible. Recently it launched a partnership with the teen-centric virtual world Habbo and a new mobile phone game from EA Mobile that includes likenesses of the show's judges and host Ryan Seacrest.