Carriers experiment with mobile content

Carriers in 2004 learned there was big money in mobile content. In 2005 carriers spent big money on marketing and launching mobile content services like DOA music services, satellite radio and mobile TV. Ringtones and games still accounted for the vast majority of mobile content revenue, but music and mobile television threw in a penny here, a penny there. As expected, downloadable music services didn't hit any home runs: Most people still have an iPod in their pocket. Not even the iTunes phone could stop its one-featured cousin. "Scr*w the nano!" The Motorola/Apple handset offering didn't bring much to the party. After considering its late arrival, the market couldn't forgive the foul.

The moving picture has gone from the silver screen to the small screen to the tiniest screen. They even have an Emmy Award set aside for mobile television programming already! It's clear that mobile television is the current frontrunner for breakaway mobile content app, according to the hype machine anyway. Most carriers have either just launched their mobile TV services or plan to soon, so it's not yet clear whether mobile TV will make good. Hollywood and others in the video business, however, seem to be hedging their bets on the mobile TV revolution. Many content owners have already forked over distribution rights for at least B-movies, sitcom reruns and clips of current HBO shows. The content is coming, the content is coming. But will the subscribers? Carriers finally understand that quality and ease of use have to be there first. That didn't happen with WAP, and is anyone still talking about that?

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