MTV Networks International has extended its relationship with wireless carrier Vodafone by launching Vodafone Soundbites, a new multi-platform series distributed on TV, online and on mobile.

The 21-episode series of three-minute "Soundbites" will feature clips of international acts performing at MTV live events such as the Isle of MTV festival, plus behind-the-scenes interviews to learn about artists' pre-show rituals and their first live-show experiences. Among the artists being featured are U.K. pop act McFly and U.S. band One Republic, with more acts to be disclosed later.

"The show is designed to be a topical look at the international music scene and so for that reason we cannot confirm artists that will appear later in the series at this stage," a spokesperson explains to Billboard.biz.

The ad-funded series will be available in seven languages on MTV channels in 29 countries worldwide including the 16-countries which take MTVNI's pan-European feed. It is produced exclusively by MTVNI and the frequency of transmission will be determined by the individual MTV channel.

The broadcast kicked off on MTV Spain, MTV Romania, MTV Portugal and MTV Hungary on Aug. 9. It will then roll out to other markets, including New Zealand and Australia.

The content will also be available for streaming online on the channels' websites. Mobile subscribers will be able to access edited versions of the TV shorts, plus related editorial content such as artist profiles and news. The mobile editions are not restricted to Vodafone networks, and will be accessible via any carrier with WAP capability.

Via its Vodafone Music Unlimited division, the carrier has been extending its music-related ambitions to multi-media platforms, not just wireless networks. The MTVNI deal comes hot on the heels of the Vodafone Music Reporter, a Vodafone/MTVNI joint venture recently formed on the MySpace social network. It offers budding music journalists in various countries the opportunity to win a job reporting the news on the local Vodafone "Soundbites".

Although Vodafone has sponsored music-related TV programmes, such as the coverage of Vodafone TBA Live concerts and the Vodafone Live Music Awards on U.K. commercial network Channel 4, this is the first time it has been involved in the actual production of music-related content for TV.

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