Universal And I-play (Finally) Team For Hollywood Movie Minutes

I-play has teamed up with Universal to launch Hollywood Movie Minutes, which will stream video clips of famous scenes from Universal’s catalog of movies, several months later than originally planned — initial scenes include John Belushi’s food fight scene from Animal House, Steve Carell’s wax job in The 40 Year-Old Virgin, or the battle between Kong and the T-Rex in King Kong. Both companies are using the initiative to diversify their efforts in mobile content.

“We start with those moments we believe are most entertaining for the core mobile video consumer, then we filter by what looks best on a 2-inch screen and then filter again based on our ability to make the clips available,” said Jeremy Laws, Senior Vice President at Universal Mobile Entertainment, in an e-mail interview with MocoNews.

The clips will be 1-3 minutes long depending on the scene, and the price will be determined by carrier — Sprint will offer a selection of 15 clips with a new one each day on a $3.99 per month subscription basis, for example, while Verizon will stream them through V-cast for $1.99 each. Deals have also been signed with Rogers, Helio and Amp’d. The service uses I-plays proprietary I-player technology, which allows users to tag clips as favorites.

The licensing agreement was announced in September last year with a prediction that the service would be live in 2006. “One of the major challenges with bringing a product like this to market is getting the talent rights cleared, but we