PunchMuch, MyThum bring picture messaging to broadcast

Text-to-TV isn't exactly new anymore. What is novel is functionality that puts mobile pics onto the broadcast platform.

CTVglobemedia’s PunchMuch and Toronto-based MyThum Interactive have launched North America’s first user-generated mobile picture messaging service that actually puts content on the air. In the past, viewers have only been able to do this via text messages that appear while top-voted music videos are playing.

PunchMuch, which launched in 2005, is a fully automated video jukebox channel. Viewers vote for the music videos they want to see using mobile devices. Real-time results are displayed on screen. Targeting early adopters aged 12-34, the net also lets viewers chat live onscreen and online.

‘Delivering multiplatform engagement with content is our No. 1 priority,’ says CTV SVP and GM of music and youth services Brad Schwartz. ‘We encourage our audience to tell us what they want and then we deliver on those needs. By combining the video voting component with picture and text messaging, PunchMuch is truly leading the way in viewer-controlled interactive television.’

MyThum president and CEO Michael Carter adds that this is a natural evolution for mobile interactivity. ‘MyThum was the first to bring text messaging to North American television, and MMS is the natural evolution of mobile interactivity,’ he says.

Peter Barnes, president and CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, said the partnership is a ‘ground-breaking initiative’ that will ‘take the television viewing experience to a whole new level for a generation of Canadians with a voracious appetite for all things mobile.’