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March 26, 2009



I think a lot more people are starting to see this. They are just having issues with the "how can we do this" aspect to mobile. Its something that I personally deal with towards everything since I'm always trying to get relevant media into my hands (mobile) and at the same time keep it contextually relevant for the respective audiences.

Great post.

Howard Davis

Why not offer an online version (synchronous or asynchronous) of your 7th Mass Media Course?

There's a certain irony in offering this class F2F--especially for those of us across the ocean who might want to join in.

Howard Davis

Per-Fredrik Hagermark

It is true that reach outperforms the other 6 media channels. But so far there has been quite few that successfully build free ad-funded business profitably. Advertisers are far from convinced. Some companies have no or limited revenues at all but huge audience. A potential trap.

The real crux will be to offer something that is good enough so monetization can take place. Be it a mixed or one-stream model. Preferrably premium billing will reach better terms than current billing via mobile bills where operators take so much that they hold back development. Credit card transaction in the phone might solve this.

Finally. thanks for your refreshing update! Quite curious on what the general mood is at CTIA this week.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi ARJWright, Howard and Per-Fredrik

Thank you for commenting. I'll reply to each individually here

ARJWright - thanks. And I totally agree with you, yes this is a rough industry to be in and very complex so the "how to do it" part is painful, requires vast multi-discipline skill sets and also a lot of courage by managements to experiment.

But the benefits can be enormous. This is currently the fastest growing industry on the planet and sustains 35% growth rates year-on-year. Wow. That is enormous. So those who dare to wade into this space and learn to master it, can be incredibly successful. But it is not easy...

Howard - I hear you. I am not in the education business and I do personally of course offer my consulting services in any format including remote and video conferencing based support etc. But thats not up to me. This is Oxford University's course and they invited me to design a course outline and also to suggest co-lecturers and then I show up and lecture. They do the "educational institution" bit in however they feel like doing it. I'm sure they are exploring also online options but I am not directly involved. I try to make my advice and knowhow avaiable via any medium so I write books, reports, the blog, my eBooks; plus I moderate Forum Oxford and post there; plus I do regular press and get my thoughs out via itnerviews; plus I help many of my fellow authors with their books; plus I speak at 20 conferences per year; plus I do my private consulting. There are many interviews which are also on video or podcast and so you have really a wealth of ways to gain access to the stories.

Shame you can't attend this time, maybe next time, eh?

Per-Fredrik - thanks. Let me address the ad opportunity specific to the 7th Mass Medium. On mobile we have a very tiny fraction of total content related service revenues generated by advertising. Its something of the order of 7% currently. We don't NEED advertising to sustain the 7th mass media channel. Yes, we like ad revenues, but this is the most healthy content and media channel because the customers are clearly fully willing to pay for almost all of the 71 billion dollars worth of content and services.

The ad biz is a rough space. Its a zero-sum game so if we gain a dollar in mobile, it could ONLY come AWAY from ad spend in another media ie TV, print, radio, web etc.

That is why I keep pushing the more creative ways to monetize mobile. This is what I like to call the Magical Money Making Machine and we should fully capitalize on it.

Thank you all for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Jimit. D. Khirani

isn't OOH (Out of Home) media a mass media???

Bob Brisco

Tomi and Alan,

This is a fine line of thinking about mobile, thanks for sharing. As an internet exec, I've shared some of my thoughts about the implications for internet publishing:

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Thank you for commenting. I'll reply to each individually here

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And those who can't attend the courrse, the book to read is obviously my latest hardcover book, Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media, the definitive guide of 322 pages to media success on mobile, with 16 case studies of the most innovative success stories now, in the age of the iPhone..

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Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

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Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

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