We invested in Buzzwire (formerly 4th Media) about a year ago. At the time, it was an idea and a vision that Andrew, Ed and Dave had.
They have been operating in stealth mode since then quietly building their technology and service.
Today Buzzwire opened up and decided to share their software and plans with everyone. They have a beta version of their service that allows users to stream audio and video on their mobile phone. You can choose any of the content Buzzwire has aggregated or you can upload your own. Low end and high end phones. And it's free.
One of my favorite things they added recently is the ability to share content from your phone to your friends phone via SMS. And the person you share with doesn't have to be a Buzzwire registered user.
We invested in the company for several reasons:
1. Consumers want this stuff and more.
2. It's hard to do right
3. Killer team
We know consumers want video and audio on-demand on their phone. We were investors in thePlatform that provides software infrastructure for Verizon's VCAST service. We saw first hand how much consumers want this type of content. And consumers want more. We want choice and control. We want more than the content that someone else chooses for us.
Buzzwire has developed amazing technology that allows the consumer to stream any audio and video content to mobile devices without requiring any special software in the handset. All other solutions require the consumer to have special, proprietary client software. Or they limit the content by size or type. Buzzwire just works. It knows that type of handset the consumer has, it knows what carrier, it knows which network and it makes the content just work. That is a big deal and no one else is making it this simple. They can reach more consumers because we can work with the most diverse set of handsets on any network.
And best of all, this team is just fantastic. I love working with these guys. They are super passionate about what they are doing. They are seasoned, successful entrepreneurs that know how to build great products and great companies. This was the original team that helped create Mobile 1.0 before 3G and with handsets that were pretty weak.
Buzzwire is currently in beta. The user interface is evolving. I saw the upcoming new version and it's awesome. And while they support the widest range of handsets, Blackberries and a few Verizon phones aren't compatible at this time.
I'm having a ball with the service. Give it a try and let me know what you think.