The Financial Times had a long story about mobile phones and TV on Friday 30 December 2005.
I've run several workshops around TV-mobile opportunities during 2005 and have seen many leading innovators in this space, such as MTV Networks Europe and OTT OnTimeTek of Korea etc. There is for example a soap opera in Spain called Supervillanos on Amena's network about some funny aliens adapting to life on Earth - their pet "dog" likes to eat a human for breakfast for example. And Dutch mobile-TV innovator Endemol has developed for Telefonica a comic strip series of stories where viewers could vote on what happened next. Furthermore, while many trials have been launched on TV broadcast-mobile telecoms convergence such as the DVB-H trials at Oxford university, in South Korea they've gone way further. Not only is their DMB standard based digital TV broadcast to mobile phones a commercial reality with over 400,000 subscribers on the first commercial service, from December 2005 Korea has even had competition in that space with the second broadcaster having launched as well.
When we combine the trends of podcasting, user-participation (voting in Big Brother/Pop Idol etc) to citizen journalism (Oh My News, 7/7 London bombings) and the over 100 million cameraphones already in use, very soon we will see radical new innovations in user-created content to develop video content alongside the traditional TV broadcasters. Italy's Three/Hutchison has already started along this road where video bloggers get paid a revenue share of the fee charged to those who view their video blogs.
Mobile TV is only four years old, as two innovations were launched simultaneously in 2001. In Finland SMS-to-TV chat went live, while MTV launched Videoclash - the programme where viewers could decide what videos to see next, and vote via mobile phones. Since then in 2002, 2003, 2004 and even 2005 when I met with thinkers in this TV-Mobile space, most were always only thinking of putting football highlights, news clips etc onto mobile phones. Boring boring boring.
Now in 2005 we've seen first signs of real innovations - you have to see MTV's Head and Shoulders to really "get it" - what we can do and what can really sell - on mobile TV. When Robbie Williams promoted his new CD, he had his concert simulcast to 3G phones. At the MTV Europe Awards the mobile MTV channel went back stage and shot exclusive footage that was only seen on mobile phones. At Big Brother houses around Europe it is now commonplace to have exclusive cameras - and latest innovation from Finland this Autumn, exclusive microphones - that viewers of the show can get more through their 3G phones.
The innovation is now starting to happen. The word is spreading. During 2006 we will see dramatic and cool things in this space, and you can of course learn a lot about them here at our blogsite, as Alan and I are both very interested in these developments and will blog about them.
Separately two "announcements" in the mobile-TV space. Oxford University will run a short (probably two day) executive course on mobile TV in June. I've been developing that course based on my workshops and having been very closely involved with this space. We'll include latest insights from trials in Helsinki, Oxford etc, and the commercial launches in Korea, and the various 3G network TV services such as we have here in the UK, in Japan, in the USA etc. We will have global thought-leaders joining in that course as is typical of the Oxford courses. More about it during the spring.
I will also be launching my "Pearls" series of books about commercial services in the mobile/converged space. The first Pearls book will be about 3G TV/mobile TV, and that book will be out roughly in time for the Oxford course.
And to us here at this blogsite. Alan and I have been very pleased with the visiting numbers and readership at this blogsite, so we will definitely continue with this. Our book, Communities Dominate Brands, is being translated into Korean and German, with more translations to follow. The book has gone into its second printing already.
We, Alan Moore and I, are available to run seminars, provide training, consultancy and assistance about the topics in our book - including digital convergence, the emerging power of digital communities, the evolution of marketing etc. We also are researching this space for more material for the blogsite and there is so much that we are most likely going to write another book about this area. But for now, the only business book on the power of digital communities - is our book, and if you haven't read it yet, please consider doing so. As Business Week wrote in June, customer community power is the biggest change to business worldwide since the industrial revolution. And like the Economist wrote in April, those companies that do not understand customer community power will not survive..
Thank you for visiting our blogsite and Alan and I are looking forward to providing you with more thought-provoking material in 2006. Happy new year to all.
Tomi Ahonen :-)