MSNBC Tests Ad-Based Mobile Service

MSNBC said today they were testing a new mobile news service which would be free of charge to users due to incorporated video and banner advertisements. The MSNBC.com Mobile program was developed in conjunction with Action Engine, a mobile application platform developer.

MSNBC.com Mobile, said the news service, will initially allow users of Windows Mobile powered devices (a supported list is found on the service’s Web site) to download and install an application to their mobile device which allows users the ability to read top MSNBC headlines, watch news videos, save news articles for later viewing and view photos.

The MSNBC.com Mobile service requires users have a mobile data plan with their cellular carrier as well as an Internet-enabled mobile device. MSNBC and Action Engine plan to solicit consumer feedback on the service to gauge its interest.

“As one of the most successful news sites in the world, it’s critical that we are available to consumers wherever they may be,” said Catherine Captain, vice president of marketing for MSNBC.com, in a statement. “The goal of this program is to deliver the MSNBC.com experience without penalizing consumers with yet another subscription fee. The consumer research we collect from this beta launch will give us valuable insight on how to effectively migrate advertising-supported content from computer to mobile device.”