After being blown away by the amount of mobile web traffic NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) received during the Beijing Olympics, it is investing even more heavily in mobile for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
In the summer of 2008, the Olympics were considered one of the largest digital events to date, and NBC executives were stunned by the 6.5 million unique visitors coming to its mobile web site during the games. But with smartphone adoption and data consumption steadily increasing since, this Olympics could draw even bigger crowds to the mobile phone.
An NBC spokesperson told mocoNews that this year they’ve added two apps, a smartphone version of the NBC Olympics mobile site, and new social media features to its mobile offerings. In addition, NBC said they have been able to attract advertisers to mobile — not because it was part of a larger media TV or online buy — but because of the strong performance numbers from Beijing.
Here’s NBC’s mobile line-up for the Olympics:
— Applications: NBC has launched two apps: The NBC Olympics application is basically an extension of the website. It has news, results and video, but also social networking elements For instance, users will be able to follow the Twitter feeds of athletes or share items with Facebook. It also uses technology from AT&T (NYSE: T) that allows you to chat with friends, publicly or privately. Since it launched Tuesday, it’s received 32 ratings, and most give it five stars. The second application is the NBC Olympics Cheer App. Users can tap different buttons on the screen to hear sounds like cowbells, airhorns, applause and others. There’s also an option to record your own cheer. Because it’s sponsored by Coca-Cola, the sounds include a Coke being poured and ice cubes in a glass. Both are free. NBC says a BlackBerry app is coming soon, but that it has no plans to support other platforms.
— The Mobile web: NBC has added a new smartphone version to its mobile site, which will display well on phones with big screens, such as the iPhone, Android phones, and some BlackBerry phones. Users will be able to personalize the site for their favorite sports, or their region with content from the local NBC affiliates. Spectators at the game will have access to a Vancouver guide, as well. The site is at m.nbcolympics.com.
— Video and alerts: The mobile web site will have videos, but no live coverage of the event. The only live coverage on mobile will be available on the NBC Olympics 2Go channel on AT&T Mobile TV or MobiTV subscribers. In addition, NBC is rolling out more text message alerts. Users will have the option of getting information about news, event reminders, medals awarded and specific sports. They are free. Standard data rates apply. Users can either sign up on the phone or on the web.