• Getting A Signal From Mobile Video
    We often say that mobile media in 2009 is where the Web was in 1997. When it comes to mobile video, I think it is better to look back to TV in 1954. The technologies are in flux (3G streaming, MediaFLO, local digital?). It is unclear just how users want their video in the mix, and exactly what sorts of things they want to watch on the go.
  • Once More Into The Brand Breach!
    Last week I wrote about the opportunity mobile offers media brands to re-establish with users some of their unique equity after so many of them were commoditized on the Web. As if on cue, shards of supportive data landed on my desk shortly after posting that piece. Not only are familiar brands resisting commoditization on handsets; they may be poised to assert their cash value.
  • Can Mobile Save News Brands?
    Focus is one of the key attributes of mobile media. I am not sure we fully appreciate that yet, but it is becoming increasingly apparent to me that an absence of clutter and a narrowness of options on handsets are two of the best friends both advertisers and content providers have on this platform. As I ranted about last time, superior ad creative cannot be driving mobile users to higher click-through rates, because there is precious little of it. It is more likely that having a single ad unit on limited display real estate simply focuses the user's attention on …
  • Why So Serious?
    Heaven help me. The great iPhone campaign has begun. "ndu pk m p" says the incoming SMS. A novel marketing pitch? My phone picking up stray signals from the SETI project? Nope. Just my daughter's way of reminding me on a regular basis that the QWERTY keypad on her current phone is breaking down. "Huh?" I answer. "iht tis pone!!!"
  • Low-Resolution, High Involvement
    "Did that guy just say he wanted to kiss you?" "Dad, it is a 3D avatar. You can't even kiss in this thing." "You're flirting with him!" "Am not! He keeps talking to me." It is my own damned fault. I let my daughter fool around in the Playstation 3's 3D Home virtual community, and she did just that -- fool around. Oddly enough, I lost track of my girl's virtual hijinks because I was more engrossed by a decidedly low-res experience, the Cellufun social entertainment community.
  • Don't MAKE Them Pay; SHOW Them In
    It is time to pay the tab that digital media executives have been muttering about for the past few months. Pretty much like clockwork, the current downturn in ad revenues online inspired another round of "make'em pay, this stuff ain't cheap to make, ya know" arguments from publishers. This time around I would hope media executives learn from past mistakes. The last time we heard this lament, publishers often branded their online customers "freeloaders" and tried clamping down subscription walls with the hard clunk of a vault door. The NPR approach seems to be au courant now. Support quality journalism, …
  • Just A Little Memory Push
    Isn't a deck that surfaces the brands you really like exactly what many of us had been clamoring for all these years? I know I have been. Even when we paid those ridiculous $4 and $5 monthly subscription fees for horoscopes and sports scores on a phone deck, most of us forgot that we had them buried somewhere eight painful clicks deep in what we laughingly called a phone operating system. I was thrilled with my first RAZR, simply because it let me put a handful of key functions on the start page.Be careful what you wish for. So now …
  • Mobile Spending: Q1 Gut Check
    Now that Q1 is behind us and mobile ad networks and publishers have gotten a chance to see how the recession is affecting them, the projections for mobile marketing spend in the near future are becoming a bit more meaningful.
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