Tag Archives: location

Wrap up from: MIPTV and X Media Lab Sounds Digital

Well, last week was an eye opener. I attended both MIPTV and X Media Lab Sounds Digital and thought I’d share some highlights.

MIPTV: Mobile Engagement 2.0

Without wishing to blow my own trumpet too loudly, I’d like to say that I really enjoyed moderating this panel as part of MIPTV’s digital focus.  Thanks to the lovely Ferhan Cook for inviting me to host it.

We had a great line up – Michael Schneider, CEO of Mobile Roadie; Rudy De Waele from DotOpen and (aka @Mtrends on Twitter); Clare Boonstra from Layar and Kurt Sillen from Ericsson.

There’s a live blog report of the session on the MIPTV site (as well as a video of the debate – choose the second video down, under April 15 – not sure why there’s no addressable link). The panelists talked about the importance of apps, location , media transfer and other issues but there was a healthy debate about which was the most important.  Check it out.

Rudy’s presentation was great for people who are interested in where the mobile industry is going (he and I are in agreement on alot of points!):

Clare’s presentation on augmented reality was particularly good and here it is:

Starling

One of the coolest things I saw all week was Starling – a new mobile app that enables social TV viewing – it will essentially make it possible for audiences and broadcasters to create experiences like the one MTV created for The Hills where users could comment in real time and then MTV could overlay the best comments on the screen.

When I first saw The Hills (purely out of professional interest, I might add!), the main thing I didn’t understand was why it hadn’t been done on mobile in the first place – and this app does just that.  I’ve often said that broadcasters aren’t making enough of the natural proximity  CEO Declan Caulfield was kind enough to give me a sneak preview of the alpha and the interface is very slick – combining loads of bursts of social media with various contexts in a really slick way (and I promised I wouldn’t say any more than that!).  Good write up on it from Mobile Entertainment here.

Mobile Roadie

CEO Michael Schneider was on the panel I hosted and showed off what looks like a great product for build-it-yourself apps.  There’s bound to be alot of pretenders in this space – I get emails from them regularly – but Michael also demonstrated that he’s making apps for major names (including Madonna and Taylor Swift) in the music industry and that these apps are making money and increasing the ‘laser focus’ (as he called it) on their brands.  Michael also used the panel as an opportunity to announce that Mobile Roadie would be opening a European operation.  One interesting insight he told me is that they’ve seen fans buying songs in the music apps that they already own, because they are so drawn in and wanting a complete experience while they’re inside the app.  Interesting, and very different from the web ‘model’ for music and artists that we’ve seen so far.

And speaking of web vs. mobile discussions… Newscorp’s Chief Digital Officer Jon Miller talked about how he no longer sees mobile as ‘just an extension of the web.’  He also talked alot about Newscorp’s forthcoming paywall policy (and the related notion of ‘freemium’ content like what the Wall Street Journal is doing on the iPad), and hinted at a paid music subscription service from MySpace.  He also expects to see different tiers of quality of content and experience to emerge based on whether or not users are willing to pay for better experiences and quality.  Interesting.

I had to miss Gerd Leonhard’s talk on Social Media because I was in a rehearsal for my panel but caught up with him in person and have reviewed the presentation and thought I’d point that out too.  Worth a read:

X Media Lab Sounds Digital

I was lucky enough to get to talk about mobile (what else?) and mentor on Sounds Digital over the weekend and really enjoyed it.  My presentation is below – basically an update of things I’ve posted here before.  And prettier.

Lots of other interesting tidbits I gleaned…

Tune Rights proposal that we can all be ‘cons-owners’ music that invest in tracks and artsist is really interesting (and works in Sweden – so let’s hope it rolls out further soon);

– Susan Bonds from 42 Entertainment talked about how their work on an alternate-reality-game was directly related to Nine Inch Nails directly marketing music to their fans without going through a label;

AudioFuel looks like alot of fun for other triathlon/running fantatics;

and

– I’ll see alot of you in Egypt for MasterPeace (I hope!).

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Mobile predictions for 2009 from Fjord

Christian Lindholm and his team at Fjord (whom the BBC have worked with on a number of occasions) has released a set of predictions for the mobile world in 2009 – and if they’re right, it sure looks like an exciting year ahead. In fact, taking an optimistic view of the trends, you might even say this could be THE year where mobile really comes centre stage. In the spirit of these being ‘Fjord Thoughts’ I wanted to share some of my own thoughts, which I’ve gathered under the headlines from the report. Make sure you read the full report and not just my comments – it’s really good stuff!
 

App Stores are digital Innovation Bazaars

The app stores are clearly going to be a crucial access point between consumers and content/services for their devices – there’s no doubting that. However, what I thought was really interesting here was the prediction that “The long tail of the App Store will allow the iPhone to attract great content and emerge as a true mobile gaming platform that puts pressure on the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.”

Sure, you’ve been able to download and play games on a range of devices before and sure, many portable games consoles can connect to the internet, but I think this blurring will be particularly interesting. First, interesting to see which devices become prefered/dominant with which types of users but, moreso, from my perspective because its potentially where content and gaming can come much closer. Anyone fancy an alternate reality game that gives you clues in news stories based on where you are and the proximity of other players?

The Cloud puts digital life at your fingertips

“The PC is displaced as the hub and takes its place as a powerful but non-mobile client.” When I first read this, all I could think was, “Wow!” and then “But REALLY?” Much as I’d love to believe this and it would be great with relation to what I do for a living, it seemed a little implausible – reading on into the report, this is refined a bit to talk about teens and people in developing countries, and I think this is more likely. We see this happening for a small wedge of UK users – a growing minority – but I don’t see a full reversal of hub/client devices this year for mainstream audiences. Watching the behaviour of those audiences who DO make this switch will be interesting though. My youngest brother and a teenager I work with already can’t see the point of having a laptop (nevermind a desktop) when they can have a Blackberry.

I think the other interesting thing about how ‘the cloud’ will affect our experiences that will emerge will be around how entertainment and media cross between equally connected clients. With over-the-air downloads from the iTunes store, does the music ‘live’ on your PC or your iPhone? And will this be the year that delivers on the dream of being able to ‘take’ a programme you were watching on TV away on your phone when you leave the house?

TV finally goes mobile

I can’t write about this report without being grateful for the praise that Fjord has given the BBC in this section naming us as one of the players who will help drive this trend. Nice. We’re already seeing “mobile couch potato” behaviour growing – peak time for the use of BBC iPlayer on mobile is between 8.00pm and midnight – times when people are relaxing at home (possibly in bed) and using their reliable, fast wifi connections. This is different to what’s seen on the desktop version of BBC iPlayer and later than peak time for traditional TV viewing so very interesting to keep an eye on.

I recently saw another presentation (by another company) looking at mobile in 2009 that predicted that Mobile TV was dead. At first these seemed contradictory – but actually, they were in agreement. What the other presentation meant was that TV on operator portals was dead; and that its time for other TV/video services to emerge – perhaps like BBC iPlayer on mobile and the others that Fjord are suggesting. Wouldn’t it be cool if we stopped watching video on our mobile screens this year and that its when “video goggles” (aka virtual retinal display) takes off?

Location becomes the new service bedrock Sure, I buy this. BUT… the editor in me would modify this prediction slightly. I think there’s going to be a proliferation of applications that use location – but I’m not convinced they’ll all be very useful or as easy to develop as some people think. I talk to a lot of people who make the assumption that if something’s near you, it’s automatically relevant – this isn’t always the case, and even if it is, it might not be what you want.

If I’m searching on my geo-aware device for information about an upcoming business trip or holiday, I definitely DON’T want information about what’s currently nearest to me. I’d probably like to know what hotels people who LIVE near me stayed in when they went to my destination – but I suspect working out these types of subtleties and the user experiences that make them excellent will be a little bit of a way off and that we might see a lot of gimmicks in the meantime (excluding maps, of course). And worse, the top 10 headlines near me, might actually do me a dis-service if it turns out that the raging fire a few towns over is the 11th story, meaning I never get to find out that my home is in danger.