I may be getting to be the tiresome Ancient Mariner at the party, endless going on about the same topic. But my repeated insistence that mobile media-consumption is key to the future of communications, keeps being borne out by each new industry development.
Under Rupert Murdoch’s lead, News Corporation executives have digested the projected numbers for cellphone users (five billion worldwide by 2010) and they don’t want to be left behind, as Murdoch himself has acknowledged happened in the Internets earliest days. Their new venture Mobizzo is both a mobile entertainment store and a new studio producing nothing but material for transmission to cellphones. Almost simultaneously the broadcasting giant CBS Corporation, recently spun off from its parent, the even bigger giant Viacom, has launched its service of cellphone alerts about news – be it general news, called CBS News To Go, or showbiz buzz from the Entertainment Tonight team. The alerts will include video clips – and of course advertising.
CBS is also developing, with some faith in the mobile viewer that’s significant for the whole industry, a series of special cellphone-aimed soap operas, divided into episodes lasting from three to five minutes. News Corp have already been offering 24: Conspiracy, scenes derived from 24, the Fox TV series â€“ but they don’t push the attention span beyond what observers feel will be most phone-viewers limit. The scenes have so far lasted just one minute.