Friday, June 29, 2007

Mobile as the 7th Mass Media

On I-Phone Friday, it seems worth taking a moment to consider why the arrival of one box of technical tricks is being imbued with such significance.
In a previous post today I made the point that the I-Phone's novelty is its marketing blitz. That in itself is allowing the world in on a secret already known to Generation C (Life after the I-Phone)
It is the global awakening of the idea that mobile is not like any previous mass media.
Tomi Ahonen has described this previously in his post Mobile the 7th mass media is to internet as TV is to radio. Read it at that link and you can email Tomi requesting a further thought piece, too.
Now Alan Moore, Tomi's co-author of the blog and the book Communities Dominate Brands has offered his take, building on and elaborating on Tomi's.
Alan's executive summary 'Mobile as the 7th Mass Media, an evolving story' is available by emailing him. You'll find details at the end of this post.
Alan discusses how the arrival of each mass media, from print, to mobile, has led to the emergence of new opportunities, skills and industries. Their impact on the distribution of knowledge leads to profound changes, not least in the way markets and business models work.
Understanding that mobile is a new and very different mass media (and as a reminder, the previous six were print, recording, cinema, radio, TV and latterly, internet) explains why the I-phone - or rather what it represents - is such a big deal.
The mobile internet is NOT a watered-down, content-poor, slow version of the internet. Believing this is a fundamental misunderstanding.
As Alan's paper puts it, mobile is:

  1. The first personal mass media
  2. The first always carried media
  3. The first always-on media
  4. The first media with a built-in payment mechanism
  5. The first media always present at the point of creative impulse
  6. The first media where the audience can be accurately identified.
The I-Phone is the drum major for this change. But the band was already formed and marching. It's time you and your business learned the tune and got into step.

If you'd like Alan's paper just email him with a request. You'll find details here.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?