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Paramount, Universal pics go mobile

Films to be offered via mSpot streaming service

Paramount Pictures and NBC Universal will begin offering their movies on iPhones, Blackberries and other mobile phones through a new streaming service launched Wednesday by mSpot.

MSpot Mobile Movies will be available through the four major U.S. cell phone carriers for owners of 30 different mobile phone models. Full-length new release and catalog films from Par and U will be available for instant streaming. MSpot will offer the films on a pay-per-view rental basis, charging $4.99 per film. Users can also sign up for the Movie Club, a subscription service that offers four movies for $9.99 a month, six for $12.99 or eight for $15.99.

Users can select and purchase films on their phones and begin viewing immediately.

Initial pics available through the service include “The Reader,” “Zach and Miri Make a Porno” and “Fast and Furious.” The company said it is working to expand its library through deals with other studios and content providers.

Up to now, mSpot has offered a streaming movie service through Sprint and Bell Mobility. For that service, the company has studio deals with Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros. and the Walt Disney Co. as well as TV networks ABC, CBS and Fox Sports.

This is the company’s first direct-to-consumer offering and the first movie service to compete directly with Apple iTunes on the iPhone. MSpot isn’t offering its service through an iPhone app, for which it would need to get Apple’s approval. Instead, users access mSpot Mobile Movies using their phone’s Web browser, logging onto mSpot’s mobile website, where they can instantly view movies after paying via credit card.

(Jennifer Netherby writes for Daily Variety sister publication Video Business.)

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