Finweek English Edition - - Communication & technology -

CON­TENT providers are slowly com­ing to the party and cre­at­ing ma­te­rial specif­i­cally for cell­phones. The Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val of­fered five made­for-mo­bile short films for con­fer­ence go­ers to down­load and Hungama Mo­bile pre­miered three Bol­ly­wood movies. The In­dian com­pany al­ready of­fers Bol­ly­wood fare in 30 mar­kets.

At the above-men­tioned “How Mo­bile is Chang­ing TV For­ever” de­bate, MTV and a com­pany called SlingMe­dia slugged it out over whether TV as you ex­pe­ri­ence it in your home or spe­cific con­tent will be king. Slingme­dia has in­vented a gad­get that makes it pos­si­ble to “placeshift” your home TV to your lap­top or cell­phone any­where in the world. You can even watch pro­grammes recorded on your own PVR or pause live TV across con­ti­nents. MTV, on the other hand, is the num­ber one cre­ator of made-for-mo­bile con­tent to­day – over 100 hours a month – and main­tains that the mo­bile TV ex­pe­ri­ence is com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the one in your liv­ing room.

As the in­ven­tors of short-at­ten­tion­span television, MTV made the tran­si­tion to cell­phones fairly eas­ily. An­other ex­am­ple of con­tent providers fo­cus­ing more on mo­bile is Fox Television in the US – among other prod­ucts, it has recorded 4m down­loads of the spe­cially cre­ated “mo­bisodes” of its ac­tion se­ries 24.

How­ever, the real win­ner for mo­bile video and TV could turn out to be the same as on the In­ter­net – user-gen­er­ated con­tent. Eric­s­son and En­de­mol, the mak­ers of re­al­ity TV se­ries Big Brother, last year launched Me on TV in the Nether­lands, a ser­vice that en­ables sub­scribers to in­ter­act with TV shows and news pro­grammes by send­ing in live video news re­ports via their mo­bile phone. Voda­fone and pop­u­lar so­cial net­work­ing site MyS­pace also an­nounced a tie-up at 3GSM.

YouTube’s suc­cess – 100m video down­loads a day – is well known, but its mo­bile coun­ter­part SeeMeTV from op­er­a­tor 3 in the UK goes one bet­ter. It re­wards sub­scribers who up­load videos 1p ev­ery time some­one else down­loads their con­tent. It still lags be­hind the In­ter­net by a coun­try mile, with down­loads now av­er­ag­ing 1,25m a month, but if the model can be ex­ported to the 2,5bn mo­bile phone users around the world, pen­nies could soon turn into pounds.

You, live on TV.

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