Tag Archives: mobile video

Can mobile networks become broadcasters?

I absolutely believe that one day in the next 20 years, mobile video will be far bigger than online video.

Once the user experience allows consumers to stream video with no lag, and a perfect experience every time, the morning commute or other periods of downtime will suddenly be filled with rich, entertaining video content.

The question I found myself asking recently though is who will make that content? The obvious answer is the production companies that are already making it. The obvious business model would be the networks acting as a vehicle, or dumb-pipe, and merely transporting other people’s content to their users.

However, when mobile video is accessible to the vast majority of consumers, would it not make more sense for mobile networks to create their own unique, fantastic content that can only be accessed on their network?

O2 have worked tirelessly to be the mobile network of choice to music fans, and have had significant success with that. Orange is the mobile network for film fans with Orange Wednesday’s a huge media hit. So what if in 20 years’ time these networks were offering a full programming schedule available only on their network?

Using modern day properties for examples sake, imagine if The Inbetweeners were only available to watch if you signed up with Orange? This would allow networks to differentiate in very real ways, and charge a premium for the pleasure of being a part of that brave new Orange world (other networks are available). The programme trailers could be available to all, on all networks and devices, but full episodes would only be available to watch on their parent mobile network.

What do you think, possible?

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Is mobile video being stunted by data caps?

I remember when the mobile internet first launched, and I was on a Vodafone contract. The pricing wasn’t the clearest, and after using a painfully slow connection for a month was horrified to learn that I had racked up a huge bill! I stopped using the mobile internet for a while after that, and it took a fair period of abstinence before clearer, more affordable pricing tempted me back online.

That seems like an age ago now, but are we running the risk of having a similar situation now with mobile video?

As more people stream video across 3G, the networks are increasingly finding it hard to cope. I read somewhere that one person streaming one 30 second video on 3G was the equivalent of every single person in Newcastle sending a text message at the same time.

The reaction to this from the networks has been not to increase capacity, but to restrict consumers on how much data they are allowed before incurring additional charges. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to suggest that if you watch a lot of video, there could be a nasty surprise in your next bill. I have no idea if increasing capacity is even an option to be fair, but the net result of these data caps is surely going to be consumers will be more careful about what they watch, and probably chose not to watch snack video content?

What do you think? Is this a serious barrier for the mobile video business?

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Video on mobile, social media and the future

Imagine a future when the mobile internet is ten times faster than today, and therefore uploading video messages via the mobile web would be fast. Imagine your phone being equipped with a video camera that allowed you to shoot a 30 second video, while adding your own spoken work to the video file as you record.

Imagine what Facebook and Uber Twitter would look like in that future. Amazing.

Currently you can of course upload videos, but the sound is usually pretty dire unless you record in a quiet place. By adding a mic that allows you to direct your voice straight into your handset, the experience would be massively improved. By allowing people to add a voiceover to video, you enhance the creative possibilities and give birth to a billion film-makers around the world.

Rather than Tweeting or updating a Facebook status with text messages, you could be so much more creative and shoot a little video for your friends and family to see.

It could be angst-filled video showing the sea of orange signs all reading ‘delayed’ with your commentary on the pain your feeling. It could be introducing a new life … hello world, this is my beautiful baby Charlotte who was born at 7am this morning weighing a super-healthy 11lb … it could be a video showing two pairs of shoes in a shop, with your voice explaining your dilemma and asking for advice on which ones to buy.

The functionality could also give rise to citizen journalism, where people all over the world report on events that they witness in real time. Anything from the traffic accident that has brought Tottenham Court Road to a standstill to a bomb threat. Real time news, from real people in Real Player!

The possibilities are endless.

All we need is a fairly simple tweak to the functionality of smart-phones and a quicker mobile internet before this would be mainstream, but surely this functionality will play a significant part in the future of social media and video on mobile?

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