Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mobile Entertainment Market: Cannes - first update

I'm at the Mobile Entertainment Market in Cannes and would be posting live tweets BUT once again there's no free wifi in the conference room.

To be fair, there is in the lobby – but that's not where the speakers are. I think the word I'm looking for is doh! No back channel here!

So here's my compromise – a few highlights from the first session. I know it means you can't join in with the conversation but at least you can latch on to the broadcast of ideas and maybe join in the comments here. Gah! I'd rather be twittering.

Anyways a few highlights:

Lee Fenton COO at Jamba reveals his animated rabbit ringtone has become the biggest sellng physical cd in Germany.

Love to know what the demographics are. My daughter is 3 and pesters for princess comics. I'll make a wild bet she won't buy her own newspapers when she's older.

Jamba is also going to offer downloads from MySpace artist pages.

Jamba spends $100m on marketing. Less than 10% is spent marketing on mobile yet it is their most efficent ad channel. They'd do more but they can't get the inventory.

During Alistair Mitchell's (RIM, ie Blackberry) keynote someone pointed out how poor the Iphone is for typing (and therefore text). Much prompting about a touchscreen blackberry with a keyboard led to no confirmation.

Interesting to me this fascination with typing – given the increasingly less text heavy internet and increasing numbers of new mobile users globally who can't read, much less type their queries. I guess that may not be relevant in the business user smart phone world?

Brief discussion of the long tail of places people seek content from makes me think that this alone should make operators tear down their walls.

What do operators make money from? Conversation. What prompts conversation online, peer-to-peer, by voice or text or IM or etc? Content.

It's another example of the because effect. Operators can make money because of content but not with it.

Finally, BBC's controller of mobile Matthew Postgate says Beeb is both a content and and an engineering company. Early adopters are into news which is why its popular on mobile internet. Mobile will be mainstream for Beeb before too long.

News translates well across different platforms. Drama may not (on tv well shot and lavish, etc) take that and put it on mobile and it can't elicit the same emotional response). It will take time for people to use the medium most effectively in its own right.

BBC has about 17m uu on fixed line a month, 2.8m on mobile. He thinks 40% are a new audience which they hadn't reached before.

He says Beeb is planning to roll out the iplayer on mobile and that devices like the iphone bring the fixed and mobile internet closer together.

A version of iplayer is in beta on iphone and itouch. Plan is to roll it out on more handsets this year.

Beeb worked closely with the isps for iplayer to be "sensitive to their issues" about demand on bandwidth, that same dialogue is going on with the mobile operators.

"We can create demand, which drives Britain towards a digital economy," says Matthew.

More to come later today.

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?