Damian Smith, general manager of digital media for Network Ten, said there were three inate differences with TV. Mobile is portable, personalized and interactive. “Anything that defies these rules or works against them is doomed to failure,” said Smith. He said that broadcasters have struggled in mobile because those things are not what they’re good at — they have experience with interactivity through SMS voting and so on, but the others they have no idea — but he promised they’ll get better.
So far Network Ten has gone with sponsorship partnerships (telcos sponsor shows like Big Brother and Australian Idol and get content on their portals), and Smith said that the network needed partnerships, but not necessarily through sponsorships. The broadcaster is launching some new initiatives like Rove Daily, a satirical news program similar to The Onion, which will have a daily mobile product. He said that user-generated content — specifically what they see submitted to their communities — tend to be of low quality, and works best when the people are given specific tasks to complete rather than given no direction at all.