Video on mobile phones? Hard to believe but what would you have said 5 years ago if I had told you about the Ipod MP3 and podcasting phenomena? NEXT YEAR, 3 MILLION U.S. consumers will watch News & TV shows on their cell phones and, by 2009, that number will balloon to 15 million. That's one of the conclusions of a new eMarketer report about mobile entertainment. From TV programming to movie clips to songs that download directly to phones, telecom and media companies are placing big bets on their financial futures through mobile entertainment. In the face of stagnating voice revenue, it represents a new revenue stream for wireless operators and it is highly possible that this may permanently alter how media is distributed and consumed. EMarketer’s report titled “Mobile Entertainment: The Rise of the Very Small Screen” suggests that mobile phones could provide a compelling new platform for both media companies and marketers alike. "Online video advertising has taken off because of the way it blends video's high brand engagement with the internet's interactive, tracking and targeting capabilities, so too will marketers be drawn to mobile video advertising," states Deborah Williamson, senior analyst and author of the report.
Cingular's Rob Hyatt, executive director of mobile content, told BusinessWeek in October 2005, "Watching video on cell phones could eventually surpass [demand for games, ringtones and wallpapers], to reach 100% of the population". A perfect example of the current integration that is occurring right before our eyes in the TV-mobile phone-recording industry is; a new song by the band Coldplay rang as a ringtone on a "CSI: New York" character's phone in a resent November episode, followed by an on-air CBS promotion allowing viewers to download the same tone to their own phones. Obviously, some very big companies are working hard so that the wide world of entertainment can begin appearing on very small screens everywhere. Entertainment content could offer mobile carriers a rich new revenue stream - - and mobile phones could provide a compelling new platform for media companies and marketers. But there are problems. "With the US lagging other regions in mobile data usage, it's not even clear that consumers here want to be entertained by their phones," says Ms. Williamson." There are also technology and standards barriers to be overcome." The truth is that usage of mobile entertainment in the US is currently very minimal. According to M:Metrics, as of October 2005, less than 10% of US mobile subscribers had used their phone's browser to get news and information, photo message or purchase a ringtone. Fewer than 5% had purchased wallpaper or a screen saver or downloaded a mobile game. Our we just slower here verse Asia and Europe to embrace an adapt to new technology. What are your thoughts?