Mywaves, a Sunnyvale start-up that delivers video to your mobile phone, launched in September, but we didn’t give it much coverage.
Mywaves has since grown quickly, however, and now is boasting one of the largest mobile video services.
Large, at least, when compared with YouTube‘s mobile offering, which is selecting on high-quality specific videos for you to see on your mobile phone, or with MobiTV, which is cutting deals to deliver mobile TV programming. Mywaves is free, the others aren’t. The downside is, it doesn’t have premium movies or programming offered by MobiTV, which has negotiated the rights to that content. Mywaves is betting that most users will • like YouTube users • be more interested in shorter, free, user-generated videos. It plans to make all videos anywhere on the web available for view.
Mywaves is delivering the video to your phone over regular cellular networks, which isn’t trivial. There is a slight buffering time before the videos start playing, but not intolerably long.
Specifically, Mywaves says it is adding between 15,000 to 20,000 users a week, and now has about 100,000 users.
VentureBeat tried out the service, and it is user-friendly. You register by providing your mobile number, and your email, and then you can choose to browse various videos from default channels, such sports or comedy. It is not compatible with some phones, such as the Treo. You can upload videos, and create your own “channel” and then share that channel with friends. Users across Mywaves rate and comment on all videos. Mywaves gives you the option of showing favorites or most recent in the various channels.
So far, Mywaves says it has 10,000 channels • many of those created by individuals who open their channels for sharing (there is a private option, or semi-private option for sharing with certain friends). It does carry some branded sources, such as ESPN, and “Ask a Ninja”
It plans to make money by rolling out advertising, some time in 2007. It has already built the advertising technology • it plans to show advertising to users based on their known preferences, such as geography and tastes. It is also serving videos for companies like Nike, Puma and Adidas, and hopes to make money from those companies.
We last wrote about the company here. Chief executive Rajeev Ramen says it has 17 employees, he boasts some high-profile recent hires, including Scirocco Six, former lead architect of Napster, and former VP of marketing for TiVo (Susan Cashen) and VP of sales for Danger (Brian MacDonald).
It has a web interface, where you can choose and rate channels. See screenshot below.