Heavy.com has set its sights on the mobile phone market, launching a new mobile division to beef up its content distribution and advertising capabilities.
“It’s very early, and we’re still working out what our exact mobile strategy will be, but suffice it to say we’d like to distribute our content through the big carriers,” Alex Green, SVP and general manager of the new mobile content division, told ClickZ News.
Green joined Heavy.com this week, and is working closely with co-CEOs Simon Assaad and David Carson to hammer out a strategy by the end of the month, with a goal of having mobile content deployed in the second quarter, Green said. Because Heavy has an existing base of content, it should be quick to roll out an offering once deals are in place, he added.
Heavy.com produces most of the content on its site, including video, animation, and machinima — clips created using video game engines with humorous voiceovers. Much of the content is irreverent, aimed to be distributed virally by an audience that skews toward young males. Its programming staples include “Behind the Music that Sucks,” “Contagious,” “Blisster” and “Sith Happens.”
Marketing opportunities include branded entertainment distribution, which Heavy.com has done for advertisers like Burger King and Target, as well as pre-roll video spots on existing content. Heavy.com also offers sponsorship opportunities on various parts of its site.
For mobile offerings, Green expects to offer more interstitial and banner ads, with less clutter than on a typical Web page, due to the smaller size of the real estate. “On cell phones, the ad offerings will be more targeted, and far fewer,” he said.
Many of Heavy.com’s existing advertisers have expressed a desire to extend their ads to a mobile medium, he added. Advertisers on the site include Diesel, Unilever’s Axe, Sony and Nike.
Green, formerly the SVP of business development at mobile content publisher Mforma, will immediately put to use his Mforma experience of negotiating content distribution deals with North American mobile network operators. However, Heavy.com will not limit itself geographically, but will explore relationships with carriers worldwide.
One advantage that Heavy.com has over other content providers is its existing audience of more than 10 million unique viewers per month. Heavy.com will continue to nurture that audience, such as with its recent launch of the MyHeavy social networking community, while adding partners for its two-pronged distribution strategy.
The strategy will include non-wireless mobile devices as well, continuing Heavy.com’s past efforts to make content available for devices like the Sony PSP, video iPod, and Virgin Mobile’s Slider Sonic phone.
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