Some interesting stories in the press recently about Telefonica, a leading Spanish telecomms operator and their plans for Mobile TV. They have held back the broader launch until they can understand the value proposition their customers expect from the product.
Truly this is symptomatic of where the mobile content industry is currently situated. We have the latest technologies like 3G, but they are still a solution looking for a problem. This is not going to drive mainstream demand, except from early adopters and people who just have to have the latest toys.
In particular, in the case of Mobile TV, content providers need to understand the need to tailor content to the particular medium. For example, your typical big-screen movie goes for 100-150+ minutes, and your typical TV show goes for 42 minutes (spread across an hour once ads are thrown in).
Are you seeing a pattern here? The smaller the screen, the shorter the attention span of the viewer. Which is why people get excited about this next generation of content being developed specifically for hand-held devices, like Girl Friday (see also here).
Making sure the content is appropriate for the device is what will stimulate demand, and thus turn around the market so that it’s not vendors trying to push new products to customers, but customers wanting new products. That is when customers start to see “value”.