Friday, January 07, 2005

And Then What Comes Next....Advertising

From BizWeek Mag Your favorite TV show is calling.

With quality video cell phones on the way, media companies are thinking small.

FOX's (FOX ) thriller 24 is already a major TV hit in the U.S. and across much of Europe. And now a scaled-down version of the show is coming to an even smaller screen -- the one on your cell phone. Later this month, Fox Broadcasting Co. will roll out one-minute "mobisodes" -- mobile episodes, get it? -- of 24 on Europe's Vodafone Group PLC (VOD ) network. And starting in February, Verizon Communications' (VZ ) U.S. subscribers may be able to get mobisodes of the show on their cell phones, too. If 24 is a wireless hit, the media giant may follow up with other programming, including reality shows.

Fox has plenty of company. With viewers increasingly abandoning TV for the Internet and video games, studios, and other media outfits are rushing to jump into the fledgling market for cellular video.

It doesnt have to be just video guys, a simple SMS text will do the trick too.

With an estimated 170 million phone users out there, it's a potentially huge market. Industry analyst In-Stat/MDR figures the cell phone video market will generate just $32.7 million this year, but that could jump to $1.9 billion by 2008.

Cellular providers and media giants are hoping to duplicate the success of video phone services overseas. Cell phone users in Japan and Korea already can watch TV on their handsets, and Vodafone offers sports highlights in Europe. Such services have been limited so far in the U.S. because the rollout of high-speed cellular networks has lagged behind other countries.

Follow the Japanese, then Europeans...they will show you where we are headed with applications for mobile technology.

Are we finally starting to realize those 4 square inches are going to be the most coveted advertising real estate?

When advertisers see that through simple SMS text messaging, they will be interacting with the consumer not just sending them interrupted advertising (commercials). The key to successful advertising is knowing who your customer is, catering a product to him and then delivering the message.

Imagine if advertisers could cater their TV ads to each TV viewer. Just like youre not going to advertise shampoo during a football game, why wouldnt you want to get as much info about the person watching the TV at that time...Now think of the cell phone screen as the TV screen.

Will I send out ads randomly to people and hope they respond? Or will I find a way for them to give me permission to market to them. What concept or marketing plan will be so enticing that I will actually give an advertiser the permission to market to my little screen? What if when I click, scan, or text an "advertised code" that would allow cos to advertise to my cell?

Give me an incentive to let you on one of my most personal items. I take it everywhere, I can be reached anytime...

Now after youve thought of the incentives, realize this. With my portable TV screen that I have with me everywhere, I can make an immediate purchase.

If TV had that ability now to be able to buy right though the TV (not watch the QVC channel and call an 800 number, the ad dollars would grow by leaps and bounds. Many are failing to see this.

Your cell phone screen will be the most coveted advertising real estate because I can reach you anytime, anywhere, cater my ad specifically to you, get immediate feedback AND you can buy with one click.

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