Superstar artist Justin Timberlake is taking his image mobile. Timberlake today (Feb. 9) will unveil a mobile video channel on Verizon Wireless' VCast video service called JT-TV at a pre-Grammy party sponsored by Verizon and Rolling Stone, being held at the Avalon in Los Angeles.
The move will make Timberlake the first artist to have his own branded channel on the VCast service, with content developed exclusively for the service. Timberlake will provide four areas of programming -- fashion, music, movies and lifestyle.
Filming for the mobile TV service will begin at the Avalon event, where Timberlake and childhood friend Trace Ayala will launch their "William Rast" fashion line, complete with fashion show and musical performances.
The JT-TV service will begin airing in March with fashion and music programming, followed by movie and lifestyle content added in May or June.
According to Timberlake manager Johnny Wright, the idea came about back in Timberlake's *NSYNC days, when the group was touring through Europe and saw the more advanced media capabilities of mobile phones there at the time. When discussing tour sponsorship possibilities with Verizon, the idea resurfaced.
"We started asking questions," Wright says. "How much further could we take this? Could we get involved in VCast, because we've always wanted to do something called JT-TV. It was just at the right time and it just clicked."
For Verizon, this is the first what the operator hopes will be many artist-branded opportunities on the VCast service, designed to drive both awareness and adoption of the mobile video format.
"Artists are looking for ways to market themselves outside of music, and we're always looking to see who's coming up and spot what makes a good fit for us," says Verizon director of advertising and sponsorships Suzy Deering, adding that Timberlake was the ideal launch partner. "He's an amazing artist for us to work with because he's already got a vision of who he is as a brand. It makes it easier for us to adopt that brand into our objectives and our audience."