I am currently planning a future Mobile Monday London event based around the media industry. In the last few years we have seen the media industry slowly adopt other forms of communication and interaction beyond voice and text services. Also the media (print, radio, TV, web) is the route to market so it is really worth discussing this within the context of where we are heading and where people see future revenue. So I would like to cover how the changing mobile scene affects and enhances the following areas of the media ...
Well I thought at some point if I am going to generally talk about the mobile industry I should give my Blog a name that is fitting. So MoBabble it is and please let me know if this clashes with another one!
As always in the techsphere, if you have a thought like 'This is great but I wish somebody would do ...' the likelyhood is that somebody will. A couple of articles ago I spoke about how I wish I could bring together many of the social networks and manage them together I start hearing about various resources to do this. A good article is to be found on Mashable that covers such a product that will help people bring things together into one virtual-profile. Rather than repeat everything, its best to read it on Mashable.
Over the last year I have noticed a huge amount of change in the Mobile side of the Media industry. Not only have we new elements such as MobileTV but we are now starting to see a slightly different model of delivering services. For instance a couple of years ago a media company would have a large number of service providers with a multitude of services ranging from web, traditional voice (IVR), SMS and so on. These days many companies now will provide all of these services and manage them all on behalf of the media client. What is interesting is that this is becoming a complicated business model to try and support the now much wider variety of services thanks to MMS and WAP Push, Mobile Web, Games, Applications, Content delivery/receipt, LBS and the list goes on and on. It is evident that providing all of these technologies is a matter of resourcing and investment, however the business model that is required to understand all of these from both the technical and client point of view is a grey area. As always with technology the hardest part always comes down to getting the client to understand how best to use it. I still think many clients dont understand SMS so getting heads around some of the other available technologies is going to be hard work for some. I also believe the way premium rate and charging mechanisms is due for an update now that some big players from the world of credit cards are involving themselves. I believe mobile payments is a bubble we are yet to see as not only does the mechanism need to exist, it needs to be simple and the public to be educated in its use ... ah yes that little detail.
So for the media industry, now the web has really started to hurt the traditional media (print, TV and Radio), where does this leave mobile? The trends have been towards using the mobile to send in personal content such as pictures and videos, however there isnt much of a revenue model around this in the near term unless you find a client happy to pay a minimum fee. On the other foot, are people likely to want to purchase content/things from the media brand directly? Most of issues here come down to throughput, click throughs, requests and so on, but I still dont think most media companies have found the right mix yet.
Well Apple finally got around to showing their iPhone and first glimpses of it are a mix of good and bad. As a device, I believe it will give the usual mobile manufacturers a kick up the arse to produce better quality user experiences especially when it comes to richer media.
I think this has a huge impact on the future of the mobile web. The easiest way to navigate on smaller devices (as I always believed with my old Palm handheld) is to point at the link you want to follow and not scroll through endless options. Question is, does this change things like the Mobile Web Best Practices or not? It all depends on how other device manufacturers respond to this as not everyone will be bothered in buying such as device as their mobile phone. But as we know these devices have a habit of convergence.
I think if this device can work with 3G as well as other protocols it could be the first device to offer a better seemless experience between on device and off device services. Such as during a video clip, you can go off to watch another or jump over to the web site, say with film trailers as an example. At the moment I think it has been designed with the US market in mind, whether we will see a variation on it for the European market, we will await and see.