End of First Day Roundup at Mobile Media

Here are all my notes from the first day of Mobile Media in LA sponsored by the Media Center. I try to attribute quotes and comments to all the correct people. The letters MI stand for ‘My Impressions”. I’m sure there will be some formatting of the text in the future and some grammar/editing. Look for more concise reports over at the Morph blog, the Media Center blog soon. Wow what a TON of interesting info! Great Conference so far!

Mobile Media Con
Tuesday April 26
William C. Weiss, Senior Fellow, the Media Center

“Design your future, try not to predict it.” – William C. Weiss

“Stand in the visible future.” – William C. Weiss

The bicycle seat was based on the horse saddle. It hasn’t changed much.

The future doesn’t change everything.

The Future doesn’t change habits. Except things like catastrophe

Outsiders bring about change.
Cokes strategy has a wireless at the vending machines. Using this a space for content. Coke believes it’s in the media business.

GM believes they are in the media business. Vehicle is a mobile environment. On Star snuck the mobile tech into cars using the concern for safety. Now they have a captive audience that trusts them.

Newspapers need to look at these companies that are not traditional or apparent media companies for delivering content.

Where is Coke going to get the content to deliver from the vending machines?

Start with a customer and work the way backwards.

“People want to do what the wish they could do if only they knew how to do it.” – William C. Weiss


How should partnerships work?

Users control the networks.
Copyright is important but customers control the content.
Customers act as partners to help you scale.

Will Coke and On Star pay for the privilege to use content?
How much sharing will happen between businesses and between businesses and “customers”?

9:00 am
Mobile Media: The Fox Perspective
Lucy Hood, SVP of Content and Marketing, News Corp.

How many of you are Engineers? How many are English majors?


TV content delivered to a cell phone, Very Soap Opera style, Adventure


Snag European strategies and methods

Goal to be firs to market

Partners – Cingular, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile

Mobile Channels – Video Channels on a phone

Fox sees the mobile phone as a new media device.

MY IMPRESSION: Same old corporate Internet marketing stuff. Nothing new here.

Wait a second… Voice Tone? Characters and stars voices as your RING?

MI: cell phones are already too loud… how long are noisy rings going to last?

Chewbacca trying to record a ring tone? Cingular Ad by Fox Competitor

Mobisodes â„¢ (Mobe-is-ode-s)

“How much drama is possible in one minute?”
“Is seduction, murder, identity theft enough drama for one minute?”

Paris Hilton Mobisode of ‘The Simple Life’ SUCKS!

“Mobile systems are closed for ‘security’ and to assure that companies receive payment.”

Do you do exclusive relationships? (exclusive relationship is content/entertainment jargon for a exclusive deal between a content creator and a media distribution company.)

Ms. Hood doesn’t see mobile and Internet integrating. Trots out the old concern of how much WAP sucks. I asked about real html browsers in Treo and Sidekicks. She said that these sites have specific coded pages. Yeah I said but its just light html that can easily be created from pages that already exists.

MI: The whole business model is based on a closed system for assuring payment. The whole idea that security is a reason for closed systems is a JOKE! If the people using their devices don’t know the details of how to protect themselves then how are they safe? Even non-technical people need some sort of trusted peer based security audit. With out openness this is impossible.

Using small programming languages for SMS mobile services is another Mirco$oft style Cathedral assembly line business model. This just protects payments from consumers.

9:59 am
Brian Gratch, Prinicpal, Gratch & Associates
The Mobile Experience: Asia, Europe, North America

Mobile adoption rate is at 70% in developing countries. US is teetering near this.

Lots of stats in the form of charts on his slide show. Describing the worlds position in mobile markets.

When carriers figured out how to have interoperable SMS billing there number of messages sent (that equals more $) jumped tens of billions messages sent over a few years. That’s billions of messages sent each month!

Text usage is NOT dominated by young users. 30-35 range is bigger. DUH! J

NOTE: ASK Brian G. about cell and wifi integration or cross over. Ie skype VOIP

Actively sold 20,000 devices that can receive mobile video as described by Fox. (in US)

Actively Sold: Devices sold and actually activated on a cell network

Mobile Commerce has some time before it takes off.

ARPU – Average Revenue Per User

US data Monthly ARPU

Music and mblogging usage flew up most in the last 12 months. Calling, texting, and games fell most. Based on a ‘Buzz Poll’ – Pictures with phone cameras and blogging from a mobile device is growing

New Pope sends his ‘thoughts for the day’ to all phones in Italy. Vatican alerts press of an announcements after death of John Paul.

Transformation of the Mobile – 3P’s


Scott Symers, Sony Electronics, Platform Technology Center of America

Involved with IEEE 1394 (aka firewire)

Content protection.
5C ????

NOTE: Ask Scott S. what he thinks about hobbyist (Hackers) changing altering Sony devices like the PS and PSP. (wifi on the PSP is GREAT)

A: Scott S. sees the PSP as a gaming device that they had to include wifi to meet mobile gaming needs and opportunities. No real openness about hacking of devices for the individuals users needs. He did see it as an interesting idea.

PARADIM SHIFT – How to shift major concepts of business quickly?

Mobile network providers see a threat to communication happing “Off network” ex. Using skype to make a phone call

MI: I see a opportunity for business to give, who we used to see as consumers, the tools (platform) like the PSP with wifi and let them accidentally create new markets. Consumers are not purposely creating markets but Alpha Geeks are having fun using devices in ways they were not intended to be used. This disruption of business model is not a disruption but an opportunity. By being NIMBLE companies can adapt to deliver their content, or even better content created by user partners, to device users on the fly. The scalability and longevity of this nimble method of sales could be much more future proof.

A Zen saying of being flexible like a reed in the wind is key to this.

CORAL – working on interoperability of DRM. A framework for multiple DRM schemes collaboration.

“TWO YEARS or less it’s all going to be there”

Scott mentioned trying to predict the future every two years. Then provided two examples of how they failed. ex. 1394 (firewire) being the end all of data transfer from devices. Nope…Internet protocols are where it happens.

Session 2
Scott Fox, CEO, Global View Partners
Scott Rafer, President & CEO of Feedster

Scott R from Feedster has a background in mobile content from working at Kodak Entertainment.

All You Can Eat services are growing. MetroPCS in bay area.

“Flikr is how MMS should have looked from day one.” –Scott Raefer

Scott R agrees that small html web browsers for devices are working. Google mobile search is the real deal.

“Think Flickr!”

Help local-focused dotcoms make money.

Open source sets the economics


Scott F. lost a lot of money in wireless stuff. Notices that young people get digital mobile tech old folks still want voice for free.

The Media biz (music, movies) and the Mobile Network biz are just learning how to talk. They speak very different languages. This leads to serious problems.

This is about SCALE.

Question from Andrew Nachison:
Are there opportunities to partnerships and novel relationships to enable different small orgs to be relevant to large scale deals?

A: Scott F. …not really…

A: Scott R. broadcast model is an assumption by mobile network companies

Side thought: The Town of CH should not pressure a relationship with carriers or telcos because of the quick change of the future. They are not nimble enough. Plus the closed protocols of there systems will only work for short amounts of time. (5 years tops)

Rob mentions a thought of Google and Yahoo at a event he attended “Protocols is not the problem User experience is. If you searching for a restaurant on your cell phone it better be the first hit not the 5 or 6th.”

Session 3
Rob Enderle, Enderle Group

Video Conferencing doesn’t work.

“Take a tech and find more homes for it. Not create a tech and then search for a home.”

MI: Rob E. seems to think that answering a question is done by pacing back and forth the length of the room and turning his back on the person his talking with (example of a person who asked a question (Scott R. of Feedster) but also others) as he’s talking. Pretty rude. Not sure if he is entirely conscious of it.

Big debate is underneath this whole conversation:
Closed Carrier content delivery (Mobile Networks)
Open Technology delivery (The Internet)

MI: Are DIY media, like Podcasting, a message from the “markets” about how they want to use media from Content providers? How should corporations listen or not listen to this?

“R&D is digital media is very different that traditional media. ie Print” –Susan Mernit

“If you ever hear someone say, ‘You need to change the behavior of the user’, your in the wrong group.”

What have we heard so far?
The technology is there. No need to create new tech.
We need to see what users want. Not push what we think they need.


Jeff Lerbeck, VP and General Manger, Qualcomm | MediaFLO â„¢ business unit.

Broadband networks via cell networks

“The determining factor to determine if a user will want video on their phone is if they love TV. Age has some effect on this, but not as much as some think.”

+ The ability to record and make your own media is not part of this broadband system.+

Three screen theory
Movie Screen > TV Screen > Phone Screen

Media companies claim they never saw the money come from the PC screen so they don’t see it as a four screen theory
Ex. Movie Screen > TV Screen > PC Screen > Phone Screen

MI: By discounting the PC screen as a revenue model media companies are opening a huge opportunity for rethinking consumer created business models.

FLO – Floor Length Only

This FLO system is another closed system that is being launched to push upon consumers and not consider what they want in a network. Forget what they want in content for a minute. What do users who are now our partners want in functionality that a network provides?

Session 4 – panel style Q&A

Giles Babinet, CEO, Musiwave
Tome Burgess, CEO, Third Screen Media
Antony Bruno, Senior Write/Digital, Billboard Magazine
Marc Brown, President, Buzznet Inc. buzznet.com

Giles sees a future of subscriptions of $5-10 for “All you can Hit”. Something like 3 full-length songs, 2 ring tones, and 1 ring back.

Buzznet.com is a flickr style photo sharing company/web site.

Ring tones are purchasable without a credit card like iTunes. The cost just goes to the cell phone bill.

All of the music and ring tones are on the server. There is no actual download of this “content”.

Buzznet.com money model
Advertising and licensing

Music companies see wireless devices, both cell phones and wifi enabled devices, as the future device of choice for new markets.

Double delivery – download song on cell phone and computer during same purchase

MI: Is there a timeline strategy of deploying closed systems first then slowly opening them if consumers demand it and certain profit models allow it?

Build large community first then sell access to community to music industry.

Session 5

Mitch Ratcliffe, PersuAdio, Red Herring
Brian Hecht, CEO, Kikucall

The network doesn’t stop at the edge, anymore. – Mitch


Everybody before me asked you to think big. I’m going to ask you to think small. Practical first steps to test the water. –Brian Hecht

Try some of the things many people can use now. Text messages, ring tones, wallpapers

Solutions that work:
Consumer Adoption
Proven marketing Tactics
Workable Economic Model

Stuff that works:
Combo IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and text messaging
Paid subscriptions w/traditional marketing tactics


Howard Owen says theVenture County Star’s three point strategy is:
1) Local media content
2) Multimedia
3) Citizen Journalism

YAAAAAAAAA! Very Cool Howard.

“We want to be the information nerve center.”

Rafat Ali, editor and publisher, paidcontent.org

“Newspapers do not figure into a mobile market.”

Is the mobile platform geared towards news?

“Phones will born out to be more of a visual medium than text.”

Media companies need to be doing more R&D.

2 thoughts on “End of First Day Roundup at Mobile Media”

  1. Thanks for the great notes for those of us who unfortunately had to miss the event!!!! By the way, you misspelled Scott “R”‘s name….His last name is “Rafer”…..

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