It was only a matter of time before a prodco opened a mobile division.

It was only a matter of time before a prodco opened a mobile division.

Toronto-based Generator Productions is one of the first to take the plunge: Its mobile content division officially opened its doors last month. Known for its branded TV programming like sponsored cooking shows, the shop will take its branded content model to the tiny screen.

Its first project will be sponsored horoscopes – starting in late summer, customers can download clips of a woman reading their daily astrological forecast. Each reading will be about 20-25 seconds long, and tagged with a ‘brought to you by’ message. Depending on variables like segment length and number of episodes, the cost to marketers (at press time, no partners had been announced) will range from $5,000 to $150,000.

Barry Marcus, producer at the new division, predicts most mobile content will consist of 30-second to five-minute stand-alone clip programming like stand-up comedy. Content options are obviously limited by the tiny cellphone frames – cooking segments, for instance, aren’t feasible because screens are too small for viewers to see what the chef is doing.

Marcus says programming will likely be carrier-specific – he likens the carriers to mini-TV networks – while clips will be pay-per-use, charged to the customer’s cellphone bill. ‘The idea is to make it affordable and accessible,’ he says, adding that 30-second clips will likely cost customers about $1-$1.50.