–Keith Hindle from Fremantle Media spoke about American Idol (“the American dream, it’s the transformation of somebody nextdoor into a superstar”), in the fifth series there were 570 million votes via SMS and landline in the US. He said that people really like to interact with shows when they affect the shows, but are less interested when they don’t affect the shows. They don’t allow online voting because it’s not secure enough. One benefit of voting is that sending promotional messages for the content back to voters are very effective, because they’re already very excited about the brand. “If there is one thing I would ask from the mobile community than we can find is the ability to interact with mobile video…to do more than just watch a mobile video.”
–Lori Schwartz, SVP Director of Emerging Media at The Interpublic Emerging Media Lab said that content producers should be thinking about how people are going to find your content before you even create the content. They should include search, metatagging and so on.
–Rob Hyatt, executive director of mobile content for Cingular Wireless, said “we think brands are hugely important…brands help draw awareness. One of the challenges on mobile is this tiny screen… Part of cingulars philosphy is let the brands go direct to consumers and just work behind the scenes.”
–Paul Nakayama, the senior director of content programming for Amp’d Mobile, said that brands have a lot of power but Amp’d has a good idea of what is going on and what is cool, and takes advantage of that. He said that Lil’ Bush (the show that was recently licensed to appear on MTV) made up 3 percent of content on Amp’d, but 14 percent of downloads.
–There was a question as to whether the industry should avoid something that has a learning curve, with the example given of predictive text — a very difficult concept to grasp but once understood is very clear. Nakayama replied that “one of the things we do at Amp’d is hire hot girls and guys to do instructional videos, and load that onto the phone”…to which Hyatt from Cingular said he was jealous, because he couldn’t do that on his carrier…maybe personable girls and guys.
–Paul Grueber, head of business development and marketing at Australia-based Loop Wireless (which runs Kink Kommunity) gave some revenue stats, claiming that his site brought in ARPU of $0.07 per user per month, or $3.10 per active user per month.
–John Smelzer, SVP and GM of Mobile, FOX Interactive Media (which includes MySpace) spoke about putting MySpace on mobile, and then said something I’ve been thinking for a while: “I think that in a few years we will drop mobile from our title because it will just be understood that everything we do is mobile.” He also justified the $2.95 per month tag on the MySpace Java app by saying people were paying for mobility. He did recognise that a lot of people tried to access MySpace from their mobile by going through the browser… According to Smelzer Fox is not just interested in putting its content onto MySpace (although there is overlap) but is interested in bringing MySpace capabilities to Fox content, creating communities around the brands.