Emap strikes content deal with Vodafone UK

The publishing giant Emap has struck a large-scale deal with Vodafone UK to offer a range of content from its entertainment and music titles to mobile phone users as the publisher continues to seek revenue from new platforms.

Emap has identified the creation and syndication of content, such as pictures, video clips and exclusive interviews, for the wireless market as a major long-term revenue generating opportunity.

The deal is with Emap Performance Interactive, the division which handles the digital operations for titles including Q, Mixmag, Smash Hits and Kerrang!. The deal could also include the TV channel The Box as well as Emap's lifestyle titles such as Empire, Heat, FHM, Bliss and J17.

An Emap spokeswoman said the deal would have similarities to the two-year agreement Emap made earlier this year with 3, the third generation mobile phone network of Hutchison 3G.

Emap's content supply deals with 3G operators are among the first to be revealed as mobile operators have proved reluctant to unveil their strategies in advance of coming to market. Branded or licensed content is seen as a key drawcard for getting consumers to use third-generation mobile services and to attract advertisers.

Publishers have so far failed to make massive revenues from charging consumers to access content online because the perception is that the internet should be free. However, consumers expect to pay for services such as picture messaging in the third-generation mobile phone sector.

In August, Emap created a division dedicated to seeking multimedia content deals with companies and to bringing advertisers on board.

Last July, Hutchison 3G struck a £35 million three-year deal with the FA Premiership for the rights to provide football content to wireless devices.