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3 UK lets subscribers be video stars

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Forget all those glossy images of high-powered financiers during due diligence and making stock trades on their 3G mobiles.

Hutchison-owned operator 3 UK reckons what customers really want is to be able to download video of complete strangers making complete idiots of themselves – and to upload their own pratfalls.

See Me TV is one of a raft of new services the telco unveiled today as it said it would “form its business” around three areas. Communications, Entertainment, and Information services.

3 UK chief executive Bob Fuller said that with a couple of years experience of running a 3G phone service, it was clear that while some customers do indeed want to download stock quotes, many many more want to watch TV trailers, make video calls, and just watch people do stupid things.

Fuller pitched 3's entertainment service as both an adjunct to traditional TV services – ie trailers for broadcast shows, clips, highlights – and as a TV channel in its own right. The firm said it is looking to sign on a media agency to help it win ad contracts from potential advertisers.

And if advertisers aren’t underwriting content, customers will be paying for it themselves. Fuller and other execs repeatedly emphasized that the firm intended to charge its audience for content.

Fuller clearly wants to harvest revenue from other telco’s customer bases, saying, “Shouldn’t other networks users be able to access our world.”

On the See Me TV service punters will pay 50p for each clip they upload, and will get 1p, every time another punter downloads the clip. Once a punters’ clip(s) generate 1,000 hits, they’ll get a tenner.

No doubt 3 UK hopes that tenner will be recycled back into its coffers, via its revamped music download service, for example. Customers paying 3’s rate of £1.50 for a track downloaded to their mobile will also get a PIN allowing them to download the track to their PC, and from there to whatever device they wish.®

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