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Go Mobile Young Millennials, Go Mobile

More research is out showing that today’s youth view their mobile phones as an extension of the online lives they keep on their PCs. This report from In-Stat points out that millennials, the generation aged 8 to 27, use their mobile phones to access their social networks wherever they are.

This is great news for a variety of companies attempting to bring PC content to the mobile. As content is pulled to mobile devices, publishers will pay to make sure it arrives in a readable format and quickly enough to satiate user demand, meaning content delivery networks, providers of transcoding services and services that render PC content accessible to mobile phones could benefit.

Alas for content providers, especially web application builders, the In-Stat report makes clear that the revenue model for mobile content is still nascent and will revolve around advertising, subscription services or premium upgrades.

The report estimates that businesses will spend $1.5 billion on mobile advertising in 2008, which is scant compared to the $486 billion forecast to be spent on advertising as a whole in 2008, but still enough to launch 1,000 mobile widgets. It’s clear that getting content from a PC to a mobile seamlessly is a problem worth solving, but it’s unclear who will pay for it. Much like the problem of getting content from a PC to a television hasn’t been solved, getting PC content on mobiles may be a long time in coming. You might argue that this difficulty is why the chip makers are betting so heavily on the mobile Internet device category, which makes the PC experience portable rather than having to translate it to a mobile phone.

7 Responses to “Go Mobile Young Millennials, Go Mobile”

  1. @ Liz
    Working for a company that offers it’s service both on the web and on the mobile, I have quite a strong opinion on this:
    A mobile website should not have a .mobi extension. Users don’t understand this.
    The normal .com website should recognise the device/browser and serve the appropriate format.
    And since not only the device, but also the environment and the need for information is different on a mobile phone, there should definitely be separate mobile websites.
    But it might take a while :-) Mobile is popular, but it’s also extra work to make a mobile website.

  2. Stacey, this really got me thinking!

    I don’t ever see the ‘mobile web’ as we know it (monthly data plans, tiny text sites, and fees) taking off. It may be an information service, but it’s certainly not the internet.

    I think your comparing the floundering mobile web to how TV doesn’t effectivley interface with the PC is great: it’s not a difficult problem to solve technically, but the closed systems make more money, just like how a coke costs 89 cents at a gas station and $3.00 inside a theme park.

    At this point the iPod Touch/iPhone are the only significant mobile devices that actually make using the internet practical (read: with WiFi and Webkit.)

    It seems the mere fact that we designate the ‘mobile’ web as such shows that we are aware of its inferiority to the ‘regular’ web. That’s why I don’t think we’ll see the mobile web getting any traction until it’s cheap, unrestricted, and useable; at which point we won’t really need to call it the ‘mobile’ web at all.

  3. It’ll be interesting to see whether .mobi websites are fully developed or mobile phone users will just be diverted to a mobile-compatible version of a regular .com website. If .mobis are developed there will be a big demand for web developers who can come up with interesting, eye-catching, usable mobile websites.