Hollyoaks pushes mobile service with exclusive TV clips

LONDON - Mersey TV, the maker of Channel 4's teen soap 'Hollyoaks', is hoping to cash in on the mobile text alert trend by offering subscribers unseen exerts of the show.

When characters Mandy Richardson and Tony Hutchison fly out to Rome to get married later this week, Mersey TV is offering fans text alerts with extra gossip from the soap.

Subscribers to the £1.50 service will receive five daily picture alerts with brief plot outlines via multimedia messaging.

The service was set up by Mersey TV's digital production arm Conker Media and mobile marketing company Brainstorm.

It is estimated that one in 20 mobile phones are now MMS-capable with that figure expected to rise dramatically.

Mersey TV is expecting to rake in huge profits from the service, which has low production costs and is aimed at young 'Hollyoaks' viewers, who are comfortable with using mobile phone technology.

Mersey TV launched its first MMS service last year by offering a 15- to 20-second trailer for the next day's programme.

It also used the technology to recruit young actors for the show, when at least 30,000 people sent in their pictures vying for a place at the 'Hollyoaks' auditions.

MMS has still not been as quick to take off as SMS, with shows like 'Big Brother' and 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!' relying on the audience texting their votes in.

'Hollyoaks' airs on Channel 4 at 6.30pm weekdays with an omnibus episode on Sunday mornings, as part of Channel 4's T4 line-up of shows including 'PopWorld' and 'The OC'.

Mersey TV said it does not plan to roll out the service to its other teen show 'Grange Hill', which runs on the BBC.

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