Two weeks without a post it’s quite a long time – a lot of news and events. New loyalty campaign form cellcom, interesting device proposition of Pelephone and more. All this will come in the following posts, but now I want to tell about Cellcom-Media event I attended on Monday in Tel-Aviv University.
First of all I want to thank Cellcom for taking the challenge and arranging a great event on both logistic and content side. The investment looked very impressive – like there is no crisis atmosphere in the air. It was interesting to hear the honorable international guests (though most of them were Americans while I’m more interested in the European markets). I was trying to take notes and write down the most interesting opinions and facts, so here they are.
The first speaker was Adi Cohen, Cellcom CMO. In his presentation titled “Will the youth change the mobile world?” he tried to outline the patterns of usage of the so called milleniers – 14-18 years old youngsters. Cohen presented a research conducted by Cellcom among this audience which has revealed the following:
- The need of the milleniers to be “Always on”. To keep in touch with their environment almost 24/7.
- The emotional attitude towards the mobile device. Teenagers view it as a part of their body.
- The multitasking. Observations showed that teenagers often use textual (SMS, IM etc.) and voice communication at the same time as it answers different needs and conveys the same message differently.
- Sound Bites as communication paradigm.
- On Demand – the need of maximal freedom
Cohen has also mentioned new phenomena spotted in the young audience – the ability/need to communicate privately while being in public. Cohen claimed that the research bottom line was that today’s teenagers aren’t different – but they just experience the old need and emotions in a much powerful way and higher speed.
Cohen concluded his presentation saying that the lessons learned from the research include the need to build the brand from the bottom, as the opinions are spreading on the speed of light through the Internet. To not try to “work people over” because the milleniers have developed a fantastic ability to filter messages. To adopt a more start-up like behavior for the trends are becoming shorter and only this way one can stay up to date. This also requires to take more risks without waiting to a ROI model to be ready.
The second lecturer was John Shmeltzer, CEO of FOX Interactive Media (FIM).
Shmeltzer talked mostly about the targeted adverting. He has described shortly FIM’s core business – various web sites and declared that the targeted ads are considered to be the most valuable asset FIM. Shmeltzer suggested that the Photobucket is the most suitable service for mobile as photo capturing is useful for the mass market.
Shmeltzer has also cooled down the enthusiasm in the auditorium, saying that despite the various forecasts of growth in the mobile market and in the market of the mobile content, in the near future the majority of the mobile users in the world won’t consume media, partly due to the fact that their device simply won’t be able to do so.
Shmeltzer suggested that the mobile market looks like the Internet 10 years ago. There is no any standardization, nobody is sure about the right technology, but there is an understanding that there is a need to bring the media to the customers.
He also stated his view that the mobile web will be primarily free and ad funded.
The next presenter was a mobile analyst, Levi Shapiro.
He’s lecture was less interesting for me as he talked mostly about very clear and obvious thing. Still the main points were:
- The growth of the traditional data is slowing down.
- Consumers are ready to pay for new apps which make their life easier
- The penetration of smartphones boosts the usage of mobile web. 9 of 10 phones sold now in the US have full web capabilities.
- iPhone has raised the bar of the mobile experience and especially the mobile web experience
- The slow development of the mobile broadband in the US caused by the lack of standardization and competing technologies. When this will be solved it will be a major breakthrough.
- The model of 20-80 revshare of the Android allows developers to take risks.
After a short coffee and croissant break we heard Greg Clayman’s (Vice President of Wireless Strategy and Operations for MTV Networks) lecture the efforts being done by MTV to penetrate the mobile market.
Clayman talked about the growing demand for VOD and informed that MTV now concentrates its efforts in the mobile field in short (3-5 min) clips of the popular shows. He claimed that about 100 million such clips were produced in the US during the last year. In addition, the full net episode is also being developed as a format made especially for mole shows. So the key is multiple content formats.
Clayman talked also about the development of dedicated channels for special audiences or, on the contrary, exclusive channels of mobile carriers. He also mentioned a major change in the consumption of entertainment content. In the last 18 months, since the launch of the iPhone the consumption has leaped up as people now understand better what their mobile phone is capable of. In the last 5 month (since the launch of iphone 3G) the traffic has increased by 400%.
Clayman spoke about the ways to push the content. One way is to create interactivity, for example to offer users the ability to create captions for the pictures they see or create landing pages ads. Another way is to create widgets which turn the mobile phone to MTV branded. The third is to merchandise the popular programming by games and apps.
The next presentation was one of the most interesting. Ted Cohen, chairman of Mobile Entertainment Forum Americas dedicated his lecture to the overview of the situation with the mobile music at general.
At first he has stated that it’s clear that mobile music services are under-performing. He mentioned a few reasons. A not simple enough UI, the lack of bandwidth, the limited storage space on the mobile devices and two unobvious reasons: The on-line stores which slow down the adoption of mobile phones as music device and the high speed of substitution of mobile phones – people just don’t sure whether their music collection will be able to migrate to their next mobile device.
Cohen mentioned three key factors or tools that, at his opinion, are crucial for the mobile music to succeed. First of all adoption of a subscription model rather than a pay-per-track. Such a model doesn’t allow the average user to explore new artists. On the contrary subscription allows “to pay for the music that I didn’t know that I want”. The second factor is a creation of extensive tools for discovery/recommendations. And the third one is friendly data plans.
Subscription –> flat fee –> Play list personalization –> Recommendation
Then was a lunch which was tasty enough but a bit hard-to-get as it was so many people and apparently not enough space.
After the lunch we met Jordan Berman, AT&T Mobility Executive Director, Media Innovation. He talked about the media and advertising in a “post broadcast era”. Berman outline the effort made by AT&T to create a seamless media (and advertisement) environment which will wrap up the consumer in every situation.
The next speaker was TIM Green, executive editor of Mobile Entertainment magazine. He spoke very interestingly about various issues regarding the mobile content, however, I must admit that I’ve hardly taken any notes from his words. Green talked about interesting projects in the mobile content world, mentioning, for example, flirtomatic.com – an interesting start-up dealing with dating.
The next item was a panel of CEOs of a few leading Israeli companies: Cellcom, Shufersal – retail chain, Coca-Cola Israel, McCann-Ericson Israel, Yellow Pages, Discount bank. The discussion dealt with the future of mobile advertising and the participants provided some interesting facts and forecasts.
The CEO of Yellow Pages has informed that today 45% of his advertising revenues comes from the Internet, however only 2% of the 45% comes from the mobile. Yet he said that the expectations are that in the next few years the share of the mobile advertising will reach a 15% of the total revenues mark.
Tal Raban, CEO of Coca-Cola has praised the mobile ad campaigns saying that their recent campaign achieved a 15% CPM. He told that half of the consumers not only clicked on the link but also downloaded the branded content. he also assessed that each one has spread the content to 3-4 other users. He mentioned though, that the high response rates were achieved due to the fact the the majority of the mobile web users are early adopters.
Shufersal CEO focused on the difference between advertising and information passing. He claimed that the mobile media today doesn’t allow to pass emotions and this is the main challenge for the feature. At his opinion the mobile is the most suitable tool for micro marketing, i.e. spreading an advertising message to customers club.
The final speaker was Mark Selby, VP Sales, Multimedia, Nokia.
Frankly at this stage I was to lazy to take notes. So, generally Selby spoke on the role of the mobile in our life. He compared the revolution made by mobile phones to the one made by radio transistors in the 60’s.
This is all for now. If I remember anything else which may be of interest I’ll add it immediately.