Mobile Media

I recently got an inspiration to write my throughts down. Mobile Media is a broad domain and I will summarize it describing attributes the I believe define it’s current generation.
– Geospatial awareness
– Interactivity
– Rich graphics
– Native applications
– Transactional analytics – intelligence
We are entering a whole new ira of mobile services and advertisement. The clue in my opinion is to clearly demonstrate value add and to make services more relevant to who you are and where you are located.
The US market is operator driven, which in my opion dramitically slows down the introduction of services. Operators want a cut of the revenue and service providers do not want to pay the percentage cuts that operators are asking for. The percentage of smart phones out there is still moderate, which caps the adoption potential for a next generation service. It is all about finding the right point in time when providing the service has god enough business case for the service provider. Operator fees will go down as smart phone user volumes grow and competition increases. Out side the US operators wield less power and we have seen a greater range of services offered.
An intersting statistic by M:Metrics (July 2007) was that 12% of US consumers responded to an SMS based advertisement. This percentage is higher than in the other markets. Mobile advertisement is more common in other regions and I believe that was a factor… the novelty is wearing off. This however gives an idea of the power and potential of mobile advertisement.
Mobile TV is the most engaging form of mobile media. Mobile IPTV is the tip of the spear. The format war is cooling down and will settle on a few winners. Large operators think that by adopting a standard that differs from their competitors they can protect their market better. Maybe so, but it works both ways. The format selection is also based on current infrastructure and alliances. The next battle to be fought is concerning middle ware and content provision. There are a number of dominant core platform providers with Microsoft being one of them. As with all domains the middle ware space is riddled with small companies. Each try to protect their turf by building proprietary systems with infrastructure and work flows combined. When will we learn that true protection isn’t in proprietary code, it is in superior work flows on top of market leading infrastructure platforms.
If we think of the market from a service providers or an operators perspective we want strong well supported infrastructure. Will you buy from Microsoft, when they have invested a few hundred million on an infrastructure piece or do you bet your carreer on a niche player that has invested under two million… hmmm let me think.
There is a huge gap between core hardware infrastructure providers and the operators/service providers. As with outdoor advertisement, the LCD panel manufacturers want a piece of the action. The Viacoms and Clear Channels of the world want robust and tested technology… they want solutions. If the pannel manufacturers go to advertisers they are only bringing a part of the puzzle to the table and the other side doesn’t have the box lid to see the big picture. The exact same applies to mobile media. The core hardware manufacturers are pushing their gear, but the operators and service prowiders are missing the box lid from where they could see how the whole solution looks like.
The question is will one of the niche players build best of breed work flows on top of the market leading platform and provide a holistic solution with hw and sw bundled. Will they gain trusted status amongst the buyer and have the ability to deliver in large volumes? OR do the hw manufacturers need to create a ventures division charged with building a partner eco-system to deliver solutions? 
Or then you can be like Nokia and build your own web services division and buy a market leading mapping content provider in order to deliver next generation SOLUTIONS.

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