Samsung has announced today that they will be bundling VoiceIndigo‘s advertising supported Podcasting service with their phones. The first model to be shipped with the service will be the dual Samsung’s faced mp3 player/phone, UpStage.
VoiceIndigo service is a mobile application that downloads podcasts to your phone so you can listen to the whole thing, whether offline or online. The service can also automatically sync a channel of related content to your mobile phone. The application is currently supported on the Symbian platform with a WAP web client as well.
When a phone call comes in while VoiceIndigo Mobile is playing back your podcasts, you will see the Caller ID on your phone’s screen. If you choose to take the call, audio playback stops automatically. Depending on your phone, the podcast can resume after you hang up as well. VoiceIndigo can also be used as a desktop service, where you can download podcasts by URL or off iTunes.
There are a considerable amount of mobile podcasting services out there right now. Podcasting over a mobile phone seems like an attractive idea because of the number of mobile phones out there compared to mp3 players, but distribution and complicated mobile platforms make distribution a challenge.
VoiceIndigo’s distribution deal with Samsung puts it in a stronger position than most. Mobilecast is a similar service who also has several relationships with carriers such as Alltel and 3. However, they charge $3.99 per month for the service. VoiceIndigo is ad supported.
Two other services, Podlinez and Fonopods circumvent distribution and compatibility issues by delivering podcasts right over the phone.