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« Where do we find our identity as a nation in a world of change | Main | As Finland goes in mobile, the rest of the world follows »

May 28, 2007



Interesting, cool article, made me chuckle.

Video Tools


Hi Tomi:

DoCoMo's product is actually called i-Channel and is using the Adobe FlashCast technology:
Full details [in English] from the carrier site about the service:

KDDI introduced a similar "News Flash" product last summer:
It's a more limited offering but completely free of charge.

I think DoCoMo's version is interesting in that it allows 3rd party content providers to create and deploy, with as you mentioned rev. potential, their own scrolling .xml feeds and sell subs through the carriers dedicated section on the i-mode menu.

WWJ was on-hand the day they rolled-out the 701i-series, this Fall Fashion Show has been a popular video:

Natsuno-sans introduction of the i-Channel product (sorry, the full video is reserved for our paid subs) revealed the logical model for them to enable all handsets going forward with this functionality. In effect to drive more - especially from casual users - packet data demand. Considering their data ARPU results it seems to have worked-out rather nicely so far.. 8-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi rileygg and Lars

Thanks for the comments

Lars - thanks, I have to go correct that (the name of the service is i-Channel, not i-Media). And thanks also for telling us about KDDI's rival service. Am not surprised, Japan is that competitive that good ideas get copied really fast.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Ciao Tomi,

the i-Channel type service based on Adobe FlashCast will be deployed by Verizon this year, so it will be interesting to see how it will do in another market.


David Cushman

Hi Tomi,
I wonder if the direction news might go in is the same as all 'content'. I'm thinking of the long tail ideas we've discussed - where news becomes content of particular relevance to a niche; Its authenticity derived from reputation and cross-referencing.
In brief; the new ways in which news is being delivered thanks to the technical disruption wrought by the mobile phone, is just part of the story.

The really interesting changes (the bigger and more sustainable disruption) for 'news' will happen around communities of shared interests.

How long will the Japanese pay for a news service which is less relevant to them than one in which they participate and which is about things they care about more?

Perhaps the future of news is no different from the future of information full stop.

eg: I land in New York, my community of shared interest (constantly connected to me via my mobile, and shifting its focus and membership via geolocation as I travel) shares with me that the subway is out of action at X, that there's a robbery in progress at a hotel it thinks I might otherwise of considered, that the following taxi drivers have got low reputation scores and that a restaurant my community knows I will enjoy (from previously expressed preferences etc) has a table free at 8pm. Which is news? which is information?

I personally can't see a world in which common interest 'news' hasn't got a role alongside this. But then, I'm 41! I guess our traditional view of what makes news is shaped by its mass media nature to this point?

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi David

I'm starting to think there is somewhat a correlation with the long tail concept and screen size.

In the cinema (first screen) we will have the blockbuster movies. Those few lucky scripts which got the multimillion dollar backing and were turned into movies.

Many more scripts get turned into TV movies, run on HBO or one of the major networks in the world. But every movie is also there on TV. So TV gets more content. TV (second screen) adds all the TV shows of shorter duration than movies, not to mention short clips like music video etc and live sports, news etc. On TV with the proliferation of cable, satellite and digital channels, we also have lots of air time to fill, and thus reality TV formats (non-scripted or only slightly scripted) work very well. But there is also a dilution of talent and quality, going from cinema to TV.

Then we get the internet (third screen). And not only do we have our national broadcast content (say all of UK content in the UK) - via the web you can also access video content from other markets. Very much the long tail now. Services like YouTube etc will allow ever more content to be distributed. I think the quality here suffers incredibly as the piano-playing cat and the people jumping on beds etc type of clips on YouTube will attest. But its starting to get to long tail. And now with IPTV etc we will have all movies, all TV and all internet video available on the web.

The problem with internet video is payment. How do we efficiently charge for content, especially charge per view. No problem with the fourth screen (mobile) which has its built-in payment system. So now we can make SeeMeTV and other such concepts fully economically viable. Now we not only unleash even more creative input by citizens, but also we have a viable economic model to distribute content globally, not locally.

Yes, there are serious broadcast regulations to overcome (most TV broadcasts are licensed only for national consumption, so a mobile TV service for example with all local TV stations of a country, very stupidly does NOT work when you travel abroad - exactly when you most would want access to your home TV. But these are being resolved. But my point is that again, we get a larger reach, more obscure content, and access to all the previous layers. Over time mobile will become the media channel with most content available, mostly because of the micropayment opportunity.

Then toss in the advertising industry, when they discover how accurate information on audiences are available only on mobile, they will totally fall in love with this media channel, again boosting the total range of content available on it.

So I think we'll see (roughly) a correlation that the larger your screen, the less content but higher quality, it will have. The smaller the screen, the more content, but also of more varying quality, will be available.

Thats where my thinking is on it now. Lets see how this evolved. Nice to see you here David...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

David Cushman

I like the notion - and get it, I think. Let's talk more when we next meet up. Best


Hi David:

Longtail indeed.. and as I mentioned above:

"I think DoCoMo's version is interesting in that it allows 3rd party content providers to create and deploy, with as you mentioned rev. potential, their own scrolling .xml feeds and sell subs through the carriers dedicated section on the i-mode menu."

So for example, as Alessandro pointed-out, when Verizon launches this functionality the popular Slashdot, Digg and Onion type players could (at least under the Jpn. model) create their owning scrolling feed and charge small monthly sub. fee.. 8-)

As we've been saying here on WWJ for years now.. interesting times ahead!



Jerald Noronha

Really a good one !! Thanks a lot.

Deesha Communications

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I like the notion - and get it, I think. Let's talk more when we next meet up. Best

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nteresting, cool article, made me chuckle.

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I think the quality here suffers incredibly as the piano-playing cat and the people jumping on beds etc type of clips on YouTube will attest.

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great post, very informative. I'm wondering why the opposite specialists of this sector don't realize this. You must continue your writing. I'm confident, you've a huge readers' base already!

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