Maybe we should, maybe we shouldn’t. Get into mobile content, that is. The pros and cons of it were given at the IFRA conference by Constantine Kamaras, VP of IAB Europe, and publisher of Sports.gr, the biggest sports site in Greece.
Skepticism about mobile content:
– news is not the most popular reason of use. It is still a very much a voice/messaging medium. It is good to bear where news fits in the overall picture.
– it is good only for entertainment coupled with community: games, ringtones etc
– popular news items are commoditized.
– generally local newspapers are better placed in mobile content arena, as opposed to national newspapers.
– the hegemony of the Gatekeeper (of the “walled garden”) — Operators are the new “evildoers” in the mobile media industry.
– the content market on wireless is smaller than the Web.
– for engaging news content, there is also the rights question (eg, a video clip of a goal in sports)
But don’t revel in too much pessimism:
– classifieds alerts is a killer app, or at the least, is a big market
– if you thought web as standalone was difficult, mobile is even more so. So use it in combination with other media.
– users of next generation phones/devices consume more news
– a good brand is a good brand is a good brand : web publishers had trouble when they moved away from the core brands
And what about advertising?
– in theory, not such an important issue with users willing to pay
– facing similar challenges to the early Web (standards, creative, industry inertia, and more than the web, permission)
– location based services are a bit overhyped: permission barrier is very high
– seems to offer higher recall, greater viral tendency and greater response: but for whom? first of all, it is for operators, and also for advertisers, which will not mean much in terms of revenues for media companies.
Revenue mix & business model:
– don’t count of advertising, except classifieds
– most mobile marketing will be permission based, that is, based on retention, and, to a large extent, this will mean disintermediation of mobile publishers
– revenues will come from the user–given propensity for communication and entertainment, the potential for news is not enormous.
– invest sparingly and build scalable models. Remember where extreme optimism got you the last time round.
The coverage of this trip is sponsored by Yaga.