Mobile television – hot or not?

First off, let’s examine what we’ve got:

– hundreds of companies putting untold millions of dollars into mobile television projects
– operators and industry players putting their name on the line, convinced that mobile television is THE next big thing
– researches, each one more optimistic than the next one, promising us millions and billions of mobile tv subscribers within the next few years
– a well placed medium – the mobile phone – which most people in the world have today (albeit not all yet up to the standard demanded for mobile television)

Secondly, let’s see what we HAVEN’T got:

– viable content for mobile television, at least not to any substantial degree
– viable research – since the research mentioned above are predictions and guesswork for the most part, I honestly do not put much faith in it
– any consensus regarding the standards for mobile television – at the moment we’ve got DVB-H, DMB, MediaFLO etc etc etc – it’s the VHS/Betamax all over again, but a lot bigger.

William Cooper, editor of InformITV put it quite nicely the other day, when he concluded that “…many of [mobile televisions] proponents appear to have little enthusiasm for, or even understanding of, the television medium…It is still unclear how much people will be prepared to pay to see traditional television on their mobile phones, with so many alternatives competing for their attention. Understanding the user is the key to providing a successful product or service.”

My two cents? It’s going to get messy before it sorts itself out 🙂 … this spring everyone is going to be raving on about mobile television, and perhaps still during autumn 2007. By early 2008, when predictions have proven themselves WAY too optimistic, many players will withdraw or cut down on the spending, and THAT may be the time when people with good mobile content can come out and play. Until everyone jumps on the next bandwagon, that is…

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