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Mobile advertising languishes. The iPhone promises the revival

The multimedia convergence embodied by mobile phones has given rise to the development of "mobile" content, traditionally relegated to other media. One of the most emblematic cases is that of videos: not infrequently video material is produced specifically for mobile phones.

We can make examples like Warner Bros, who recently released some short episodes of Smallville Legends, a corollary to the well-known television series that narrates the deeds of the young Superman; 20th Century Fox, with a sort of "best of" from Borat, and also MTV and Fox Television.

Gi studios are committed, but despite the discreet success of the initiatives, the numbers are not yet heavy enough. Yes, 5 million US users use their mobile phone to view video content; not bad, but little compared to the 195 million cell phone owners. It is just 2.56%.

Lean market, consequently little interest in it, especially by advertisers. So say the figures: advertising costs on mobile phones in 2006 were $ 426 million. Advertising expenses on television totaled $ 48 billion.

The absence of a defined market prevents advertisers from identifying a "business plan", a promotion strategy that knows how to exploit the characteristics of that market. Closing the tap on advertising revenue is a cancellation for those who want to offer their products also on mobile devices.

But where would such instability come from? Perhaps from the mobile phone industry itself. Mobile phones, with their minute and not always well defined screen, are not very suitable for the use of video content. Little diffusion of the videos means little visibility; poor visibility keeps advertising away. What to do? In cases like these, either the status quo changes, or you adapt to it.

Sony is trying the second way, trying to produce special material for mobile phones. But it is the Sony executives themselves who admit they are trying.

According to Thomas Lesinski, president of the digital entertainment area of ??Paramount Pictires, the solution could instead come from the first way, through the Apple iPhone. Wide screen, necessary but not excessive dimensions, absence of keys, excellent image definition and greater ease in viewing movies. All features that put the iPhone in the forefront of the race to create a market that can focus on the distribution of video content, not to mention the already native integration with the iTunes Store, full (in North America) of films and series of relief.

If the iPhone sells well, it could bring a breath of freshness not only in telephony, but also in the adjacent markets, including that of video content, with annexes and connected.