We had heard that Helio — the cash-burning, job-cutting “virtual” wireless carrier — had stopped pursuing new content deals because of budget constraints. This would make sense: Networks, studios and music labels often demand expensive upfront fees before they’ll licence their stuff. (This is one of the reasons, by the way, that music startup SpiralFrog torched more than $12 million before opening its doors this week.) And with JV funders EarthLink (ELNK) and SK Telecom tightening their purses, Helio needs every penny it has to fund customer acquisitions.
But a source close to the company tells us that Helio has simply gotten more selective in its content deals. The company has indeed pulled back from “land grabs,” but there are some new deals coming. Official response from spokesman Rick Heineman after the jump.
Helio spokesman Rick Heineman, via email:
Helio has a wealth of content that’s popular with our members, whether its music for the major labels, music videos, sports, TV shows, celeb gossip, viral or other content from companies like MTV, ABC, Fox, VH1,Ripe, Accuweather, The Onion, etc. Every content deal is structured differently with each looked at on their own merit. We plan on continuing to build on our content library with offerings that matter to our members. We’ll be announcing additional partners in the very near future.