Mobile content distributor GoTV among Fortune's 25 breakout companies for 2005

MUMBAI: California based mobile content distributor Go TV Networks is among Fortune's list of 25 breakout companies for the year.


Did you miss Desperate Housewives on Sunday? Don't worry. Soon GoTV, a creator and distributor of mobile content, will make it possible for a fan to switch on his/her cellphone and watch a three-minute recap of the show.

GoTV, a 46-person firm near Hollywood, now distributes movie reviews, sports scores, and headline news to cellphones. Rather than stream live TV to the devices like some of its rivals, GoTV tailors material to fit the screens and attention spans of a mobile audience. Among the creations of its Emmy-winning producers are PurePhat, a hip-hop channel; SportsTracker, a source for real-time scores.

In July it will release BoostTV. This is a MTV-like video programme for teens. However customers should not expect images on the little screen to be identical to those on prime time.



Another company that features in the list is Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA). It works in the area of online music distribution. Two years ago it seemed as if everybody in the online music world was lamenting that rock stars like Madonna wouldn't let their songs be sold on the Internet. Kevin Arnold was an exception. A self-described "music technology geek" and founder of San Francisco's Noise Pop festival, he was convinced that there is a market in cyberspace for songs by obscure artists like the Plastic Constellations and Drist. In 2003 he launched IODA.

Today it is a fast-growing company, distributing music from 500 independent record labels to digital retailers like iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody, MSN Music, and Starbucks' Hear Music. IODA has yet to turn a profit, but Arnold expects $3 million in revenue this year—a tenfold increase over 2004.

Fortune states that it is easy now to see why IODA is thriving. Unlike a traditional record store, digital music services essentially have infinite shelf space, and their customers love to explore the weirder corners of their libraries. Rhapsody and Napster, which offer subscription services, say that less than 50 per cent of the songs that customers groove to each month come from major-label catalogues.

When a big-name artist like Eminem puts out a record, one of its cuts will quickly become the services' most downloaded song, but that will still account for just a tiny fraction of what subscribers are actually listening to.

California based Odeo which specialises in podcasting is also mentioned. The service works like this: When Odeo goes live this month, podcasters will log on and employ Odeo-crafted, simple-to-use tools to record anything from found sounds to near-professional shows. Creators assign "tags" to signal their shows' topics. Listeners then subscribe by tag or by channel and tune in or have the show automatically downloaded to their PCs. Odeo plans to sell advertising and possibly audio tools and content.

The idea of a one-stop shop for podcasting isn't new. Where Odeo appears to be the pioneer is in making podcasting—finding, creating, and listening—truly simple. The same business model helped co-founder Evan Williams, 33, succeed with his last startup, Pyra, which created Google purchased Pyra in 2003 for an undisclosed amount. In 2004, Williams split and teamed with Glass to start Odeo.


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