Cellphone Only Content

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by: Gary Hayes

According to a Reuters report Cingular’s COO thinks things are about to get very interesting in the mobile phone video/TV department. Today they unveiled a deal that will make available a range of content from the US’s leading cable content company HBO.

“Now you can turn a boring everyday moment into an opportunity to escape,” Cingular’s Chief Operating Officer Ralph de la Vega said at a press event announcing the deal.(snip)
The pair plan to kick off a subscription service in a few weeks with clips of hit shows for both adults and children from HBO, the most widely watched U.S. premium cable TV networks. HBO is also developing cellphone only content with performers such as Sarah Jessica Parker, the star of HBO’s Sex in the City TV show, and comedian Dane Cook, as well as hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons.

The interesting bit here is cellphone only content. Has the penny started to drop that people will buy content onto their phone if it doesn’t exist elsewhere? How about adding that the video is optimised (close-ups and locked off shots?) or how about adding the clips are part of a continuing narrative that exists on TV or broadband or…but that would be too much to ask at the moment I am sure.

The first HBO offerings for Cingular will be limited to a subscription service for short clips of up to about 4 minutes. But the companies could expand to full length shows or pay-per-view purchases, Cingular executives said.
“I think the real coming of age will be over the next 12 to 18 months,” said Cingular’s head of data services Jim Ryan.

So the next 2 years will be the make or break for mobile content I believe too. The telcos and content providers have to box very clever to make sure that they do not disenfranchise audiences by providing the same content on broadband, TV and mobile – I keep saying this but constantly see companies offering this package? Please, the rest of you, follow Cingular and HBO’s example and make the mobile offering unique, part of a cross-media user journey and shot/edited especially for those tiny, tiny screens.

Original Post: http://www.personalizemedia.com/index.php/2005/12/13/cellphone-only-content/