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It has nothing to do with an episode of the Sopranos, but is a new word invented by the mobile telephone firm Vodaphone that reached many newspaper columns in November 2004, though whether it will become an accepted term is open to doubt. It was used in a press release that also announced that the firm has launched its 3G (third-generation) mobile phone service in the UK and Europe. A mobisode (from mobile + episode) is a specially created mini-television series suitable for showing on the two-inch phone screen of these new handsets. Vodaphone has signed a deal with Fox in the USA to produce 24 one-minute spin-off episodes of its drama 24 with a parallel sub-plot under the title 24: Conspiracy. Many other providers are also being signed up to provide video services, especially sports and news organisations.

Vodafone will begin offering the one-minute episodes in January in the United Kingdom. The “mobisodes,” as they’re being called, will be introduced later in 2005 in up to 23 more countries where Vodafone operates, mainly in Europe, as well as in the United States through the company’s Verizon Wireless joint venture.

The Toronto Star, 12 Nov. 2004

Vodafone also plans to introduce a “Mobisodes” service next year, in cooperation with 20th Century Fox, providing short, made-for-mobile episodes related to television series like “24.” While these will feature exclusive content, Vodafone acknowledges that a major goal is to generate viewers for the TV show.

International Herald Tribune, 11 Nov. 2004

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Page created 27 Nov 2004