CASBAA's mobile TV wildcard

24 Jan 2008
00:00

CASBAA has released a report on mobile TV in Asia written for its members by digital research agency Tomorrow. Mission: "to provide a strategic and comprehensive analysis of mobile TV development across the region".

Or, as CASBAA chief Simon Twiston Davies puts it, "to demystify the mobile sector and its potential as a new revenue source".

Demystification is always good, especially when it comes to mobile, which the broadcast sector doesn't always quite seem to fully grasp (with exceptions, of course).

On the downside, the report seems a bit simplistic, at least to old hacks like me. I know it's intended more for people who aren't in mobile, but of the "10 key success factors for mobile TV services" the report names, I'd have thought things like the network, devices, coverage and ease of use would be no-brainers even for neophytes.

In any case, for my money, the gold in the report is at the very end - the "wildcard" factor, the caveat for the entire list. That'd be the Internet. Here's why that matters (from the report):

When all media is digital and IP based - you can no longer really think about individual screens as distinct mediums. The screen in a someone's living room may be bigger than the one in their pocket - but ultimately it is part of one big interaction between consumers and content brands, all delivered by the same network.

The report rightly concludes that, in essence, young people in Asia (and elsewhere) have grown up with the idea that multimedia is fluid, interactive, mashable and shareable. And if you think they're going to accept the idea of mobile TV as a passive experience - in other words, just like free-to-air and most cable TV is now - then you really don't know your audience.

That goes for IPTV too, I'd wager.

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