Weather Channel Goes Direct With Video

The Weather Channel is teaming with Vantrix to launch a new mobile video application through the Weather Channel mobile Website. Unlike its on-portal video offered through wireless operators, this service will allow users access to video forecasts, travel weather reports and other weather-related news stories off deck. Initially the service will be available in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. By year-end it will be available in 100 cities.

To access the service, users need an embedded player on their handset. Vantrix’s service can automatically determine whether a user has an appropriate handset. According to Traci Van Deventer, director, mobile products at The Weather Channel Interactive, this is the first direct-to-consumer video play for the company. The service is ad-supported and free to the end user.

Louis Gump, vice president of mobile for The Weather Channel Interactive, said this service may help drive more video on the mobile Web because consumers will see the value and relevance in mobile video. “Consumer awareness is still a big barrier,” Gump says.