The Wireless Disconnect

I’m heading to LA for a couple of days for CTIA. Ever since I signed up as an analyst/member of the media I’ve been relentlessly hit daily by pitch after pitch and teaser after teaser. It’s all blurring into bland marcomm sameness at this point. There are hundreds and hundreds of companies hyping some groundbreaking “solution” — mostly to problems that don’t exist.

There have been mixed reports (some more bullish, some bearish) recently about consumer demand for wireless entertainment content on mobile devices. On balance, however, they argue that demand — so far — is quite limited for mobile content, TV, etc.

The mobile-local use case (driving directions, local business and entertainment info, etc.) is very solid by contrast. People need practical information on the go. (I’m testing the InfoSpace “findit” mobile-local search application right now . . .)

I’ll be curious to see at CTIA if there are companies really doing meaningful, practical things — although it’s an enterprise and entertainment show — with GPS/triangulation and location-based services to solve real consumer needs for information in a mobile environment.

As I’ve said before, the paradox of mobile is that the apps and the functionality haven’t yet caught up to pent up consumer demand, whereas online there are all kinds of companies creating tools and sites where there’s no real consumer demand or use case.

Here’s recent Ipsos data on mobile content downloads:

  • Music downloads – 18%
  • Video games – 14%
  • Music videos – 10%
  • Movie trailers – 9%
  • TV shows – 5%
  • Full-length movies – 3%

Source: Ispsos (6/06 n=1,143 US pop. Ages 12+)

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Related: A really aggressive global mobile advertising forecast from Informa Telecoms & Media: “Informa Telecoms & Media predicts over US$11.35 billion of advertising spend on mobile channels by 2011, affording consumers cheaper mobile content as advertisers come to terms with the medium.”

go2 announces more mobile content partnerships. One of the early mobile local search and content companies, go2 is clearly a survivor. Now, as everyone is more focused on mobile, will the company have enough of a brand to take things to the next level?

One Response to “The Wireless Disconnect”

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