Mobile web browsing has properly taken off – Market watcher Direct2Mobile predict that 10.7m UK mobile phone owners will be browsing by the end of 2008. Meanwhile, countries with scarce broadband are fast emerging as top mobile browsers – traffic in Africa increased 21% in the last quarter. 91 % 17 year old girls in the US have a mobile, compared to 78% boys, according to Multimedia Intelligence. In 2007, there were 16m Americans between 12-17 who owned a mobile.
With all those potential audience members online via mobile, it means that considering mobile versions of websites, mobisode content and mobile advertising are all increasingly a viable part of a cultural organisation’s marketing and participation strategy. We’re only just beginning to consider what can be done with user-generated content created by mobile and then uploaded to the internet (or even live streamed, in the case of Qik). At live events, for example, users whose phones have clear video recording can capture part of the action; their comments about it; some of their japes as they were out – all of this is excellent viral marketing material. There are some excellent touch screen/high pixel screen phones with big memory and good quality cameras emerging on the market for Christmas (Nokia N96, HTC’s Dream & Touch Diamond, Samsung I900 Omnia, Moto Rokr E8, LG Viewty).
Mobile social networking remains strong, so keep your Facebook, YouTube and MySpace pages up-to-date, as all these provide mobile versions, without you having to do the work. With 88% of mobile users happy to receive advertising in exchange for free content (says a recent survey by 4th Screen), the business model is definitely worth considering.
For your contacts book, MobiTV streams mobile TV. Third Screen Media are the biggest mobile banner ad agency – they’ve just been bought by AOL. You could also try AdMob.
Mobile games publisher Connect 2 goes even further about the level of interactivity enjoyed on mobiles, saying that mobile gaming could generate concepts that will become TV shows. M:Metrics reported that 20% mobile phone contract subscribers reported playing a game on their phone in March 2008, beating figures for watching video and even listening to music. The experience of gaming on mobile should be made a lot easier with the lauch of the Zeemote – a remote controller/joystick about the size of a USB dongle – no more fiddling with the numberpad. Selatra Games report that 26% of games downloaded are Quizzes; 20% racing and 17% logistics and strategy. Surprisingly, shoot, sport and arcade games are downloaded a lot less.
However, that may change. Its now much easier to buy different mobile products (e.g. games, videos, ringtones, mp3 tracks) from one place. Last month, Sony BMG and O2 launched MyPlay, where music fans can buy bundles of mobile products from one store. This seems to make more sense – a fan is more likely to purchase a Ting Tings video, realtone and audiotrack if they’re all on the same mini-site, rather than hidden away in silo-ed stores (“Vids”, “Realtones”,… etc.). for the latest advice on mobile business models, see PaidContent.org.
Finally, San Francisco Ballet have given their Ballet Corps their literary orders – the dancers are writing an entertaining and insightful blog.