I’m at MIPTV in Cannes and am incredibly impressed – almost shocked – at just how important many of the keynote speakers are saying mobile is. It’s amazing and great to hear some of the real big shots in the media carrying on about the space I’m working in – and it feels a little like 10 years ago when the industry really started taking the web seriously. So brace yourselves folks, I think this is yet another sign of alot of excitement to come.
The other good news was that while all the speeches I saw predicted a tough time ahead for TV, they predicted a bright future. Now, they would say that at a TV industry conference, wouldn’t they? But, there was some serious data and thought behind the predictions and again, mobile played a big role in their thinking.
Here’s what I took away from some of the keynotes:
TV will not die – network tv will still be effective for reaching large numbers quickly and cheaply. But, he predicted, it won’t have the same dominance. Sir Martin predicts the balance of advertising spend will redistribute itself like this: 20-25%, Newsapper 20-25%, Other 20-25% and New media around 25%. He predicted that an increase in mobile would make up a good part of the increasing spend in new media areas.
PC video and mobile content – especially mobile in B R I C s (his term for the Brazil, Russia, India and China markets) – would be especially important since this is where mobile can give cheap access to those who are not yet connected. He pointed out the significance of China Mobile having 450m subscribers out of a total 650m mobile subscriptions in China to emphasize this.
The ability for mobiles to become a distribution and consumption platform for TV/video content is what makes them important in combination and why it’s likely they’ll survive the tough times and come out stronger than before.
This sentiment was echod in the next keynote I attended. (Official/full MIP blog post on the session here.)
Jeffrey Cole, PhD – Director USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future
Jeffrey’s speech backed up Sir Martin’s predictions with some serious academic data that the Center for the Digital Future has been collecting for years.
His basic premise was that ‘all media survives.’ Media never get completely wiped out – they just change and often thier market dominance becomes smaller. He cited that radio was not wiped out by TV and (in America at least) is still a vibrant business, though not as huge as it once was. He predicted similar fates for music, film and newspapers (scarily he predicted there will only be 3 or 4 newspapers in America after the next few years).
TV is the exception, he said – “Rather than shrinking, television (video) will grow dramatically in importance.” People will watch TV on a small screen – including long form and series. TV is our constant companion and follows behaviour of people turning to their mobiles when they’re bored. This lines up with the way we’ve seen people using Mobile BBC iPlayer in my work. The myth that people will only watch tiny clips of short-form videos on phones disappears once you give them a means of easily accessing and consuming full length content. (Official/full post here.)
Niklas Savander from Nokia also echoed similar sentiments in his keynote; but this was mainly with the aim of promoting the long-talked-about Ovi store. Which sounded like a completely different Ovi to the one that Nokia were talking about here last year which was all about sharing media created on phones. Strange.
Video of Niklas:
I’ll be writing about some more highlights from the conference soon.