Blog Post

MyWaves, Share Video on Mobiles

STARTUP: MyWaves, based in Sunnyvale, CA.

ELEVATOR PITCH: Watch, and share web videos on your cell phone.

WHAT THEY DO: MyWaves delivers web-based video clips to cell phones. The site is designed so users can create and subscribe to other’s “video channels,” which are a series of back-to-back video clips. To make money, the company says it is doing licensing deals with carriers and offering sponsorship and branding deals for companies looking to reach mobile communities.

PEOPLE: CEO Rajeev Raman, a former EIR at Menlo Ventures, the company has 16 employees, and boasts executives from Napster, TiVo, Danger and Yahoo.

FUNDING: $6 million in Series A from Menlo Ventures.

COMPETITORS: Eyespot, Juice Wireless, ComVu, Veeker, Treemo, vpod.tv carrier video-sharing services like 3’s “See Me TV,” and online video companies that are doing mobile deals like YouTube.

THE DEAL: MyWaves recently launched its mobile video service into a sea of competitors — sharing video camera phone content is everyone’s favorite topic. MyWaves is different in that the company is focusing on its service for watching shared videos via cell phones. Unlike many companies that are concentrating on sending video camera phone content to be shared on the web, MyWaves aims at sharing web videos on the mobile.

To use the service you need a video-capable, data-enabled phone, and to get the best experience you should download the MyWaves application onto your cell phone, (not available for Verizon users yet). All that eliminates a lot of cell phone users right there. But if you do have a sophisticated enough phone to sign up, the company says its video technology determines the best video experience by determining factors like phone capabilities, network capabilities, and video capabilities on the fly.

My first thought was why reinvent the wheel and not just use MMS to watch user-generated cell phone videos? Raman says MMS is too limited by carriers, allowing no more than 15 seconds of video per message, not interactive enough, and basically designed to meet a messaging need, not entertainment.

Overall I think the company’s underlying mobile delivery technology is more interesting than some of the more basic mobile video-sharing startups on the market today. But at this point the service is hard to use and only available to a select audience. I tested the service on a Cingular LG CU500 and it took a really long time to go through the sign up process — Raman says they are working on simplifying it, as well as enhancing the how-to section. If this service simplified its design and interface, I could see the market ready for this maybe next year.

14 Responses to “MyWaves, Share Video on Mobiles”

  1. Mobster

    Katie,
    Have you an update about how the video
    sharing services, listed below and in your
    article, are doing ? (a review / touch base
    to see where they are)

    Eyespot, Juice Wireless, ComVu, Veeker, Treemo, vpod.tv

    thx

  2. Hi all,

    good talkings about what we run since 1 year! :)

    -> Put your mobile phone out: mobile.itsmy.com

    -> It supports 2.700 handsets and its a MOBILE ONLY community.

    -> And the important issue: Mobile VIDEO = NOT ONLINE VIDEO :) Just think about how stupid it is: send videos from anywhere in the world to your local home pc :) (pc`s are more than ~60% of a day NOT online)

    Ciao, Vince
    My Phone N70

  3. Erg…was reading your blog on my Nokia N93, tried to visit MyWaves site…and it was full of ‘You need Flash player to view this’ titled blank boxes. The link forwarded you to Adobe’s main Flash update site, which is rather useless if you are on a phone.

    Any website which is geared towards mobile phones, HAS to be at least ‘browsable’ with one.

  4. Kevin Boris

    How is this valuable? They are basically trading one paradigm for another. Great, you are sending me videos? What if I want to send videos too? Seems like a mess and carrier solutions that are packaged on the phone tend to be even more of a mess, coupled with DRM and format problems the mess compounds.

    I agree, mobile video is valuable but then again, there is a whole another aspect all these companies keep missing…that aspect is the billion dollar idea. Not small companies hawking 100 different mobile delivery models…