Monday, January 22, 2007

Changing face of mobiles in media

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.