Archives: March 2007

TiVo Goes Mobile (Sort of)

TiVo.jpgWell, not exactly – you can’t record TV shows onto your cell phone. But you can now control your home TiVo using TiVo Mobile, if you have Verizon Wireless and one of the supported phones.

TiVo includes categories for “Daily Picks” and “Most Popular Shows,” with ratings sent in by users who are presumably actually watching these shows. You can search by category, by listings, and select Season Pass or Record This Episode the same way you do at home.

Introducing TiVo Mobile [TiVo]

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Mobile Ad Deals Take Off

Presumably due to CTIA Wireless conference, there were lots of announcements about mobile ad deals this week. (We already reported on some of the largest ones here.)

MediaPost has a great analysis of the week’s news in this story. Despite the huge push, it’s still an uphill battle, as consumers (even young ones) are still ambivalent about things like whether or not they want MySpace on their phones.

And of course, in the end we don’t care about the ads; we care about what we can do with our phones. But it still pays to follow the industry and pay attention to what initiatives work (text messaging, probably broadcast TV), and which ones fall on their face (recycled TV clips, social networking attempts to date, poorly designed WAP pages, and anything where advertising becomes too intrusive).

Big Week For Mobile Ad Deal Announcements [MediaPost]

Cellphones Are Still Too Hard To Use

Spiderman.jpg At CTIA 2007 in Orlando, Florida, I wrote several stories for PC Magazine about the keynote speeches and the state of the industry.

It seemed everyone is realizing that phones are still too difficult to use. There’s no point in including all these mobile media-related features if you still have to click through six drop-down menus to get to what you want, or sort through 17 video clips just to find the one you want to see.

Analysis: Phone Apps Finally on a Diet
[PC Magazine]

Maybe No One Is Going Online With Their Phones Yet

Of course, all this wondering about where mobile media is headed won’t do any good if no one is accessing it.

In today’s MediaPost, there’s a report that “just 5% of broadbanders (about 5 million people) are choosing to access the Internet through their cell phones or PDA’s, according to a Media-Screen Netpop/Pocket online survey released this week.”

If that number seems low, it’s because they only surveyed people with broadband access in their homes. Usually you hear a slightly higher percentage, maybe in the teens. But that’s because consumers are buying new phones that can access the Internet even if they only have dial-up (or nothing at all) at home.

Survey: Few Broadband Users Go Mobile For Web Access [MediaPost]

Pepsi and Intel To Advertise on MTV Mobile

Right on the heels of yesterday’s announcement that MTV is launching a series of mobile sites, Pepsi and Intel became the first sponsors of their new mobile properties.

“With the introduction of mobile advertising, MTVN creates an entirely new revenue stream, as well as a new way to fuel further content innovation and growth on mobile,” said Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman in this MediaPost article.

Pepsi, Intel Charter Sponsors Of New MTV Mobile Sites [MediaPost]

What if Microsoft Purchased DoubleClick?

It’s no secret that Google has pulled far and away ahead of Yahoo and Microsoft in developing a viable online ad model.

That doesn’t mean the latter two portals aren’t trying, of course. Just as Yahoo recently dipped its toe in the mobile ad market, Microsoft could score big with a DoubleClick purchase, even as analysts balk at the latter’s $2 billion purchase price.

While a deal of this magnitude would obviously help Microsoft throughout its Internet product line (as opposed to just on mobile), it would certainly bolster Microsoft’s various mobile search products and MSN pages as well.

Microsoft/DoubleClick Deal Seems Likely; Analysts Question $2B Purchase Price [Online Media Daily]

Cellphone Video Gets Longer

phonemovie.jpg By Jamie Lendino

It seems only a matter of time before everyone starts watching video in the palms of their hands.

You can already get a powerful phone that plays video over a high-speed network, and in some cases, even watch broadcast TV. Meanwhile, carriers are signing dozens of media licensing deals, and studios are putting big screen films on the very small screen.

Many studios and carriers are focused on the minutes-long clips that permeate current mobile video offerings. Recently, the Sundance Institute introduced five short-form movies exclusive to cell phones. HBO chops up its shows into shorter segments to watch in your hand.

Read more

MTV and Sprint Push Ad-Supported Networks

Wheee.jpg Mediaweek is reporting that MTV and Sprint are launching three new networks based on their wireless video content platform.

The networks include wireless versions of MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. They’ll stream video content from these channels 24 hours a day, although it won’t be synchronized with the regular cable channels.

It will be interesting to see how these channels fare versus their land-based counterparts — or if some viewers even end up preferring the mobile versions (at least in terms of content, since we think most people prefer their living room television screens).

MTVN, Sprint Broaden Pact to Launch Ad-Supported Nets [Mediaweek]

Weather Channel Mobilizes Targeted Ads

In a new twist, the Weather Channel is now the first mobile service that can target advertising based on — you guessed it — current weather conditions.

It works with a series of basic categories, such as clear, cloudy, rain, or windy. (Maybe they can advertise mail-order umbrellas?)

TWCM director of advertising Rebecca Barnett named some potential uses, including “travel services and travel destinations, automotive products oriented toward safety in bad weather conditions (such as tires and SUVs) and health products such as cold medications,” according to the MediaPost report.

Weather Channel Extends Ad Targeting Options To Mobile [MediaPost]

Yahoo Jumps Into Mobile Ad Market

In a bid to outshine Google in the mobile space, Yahoo is announcing a new Web ad network initiative today for cell phones. This lets marketers place ads simultaneously within Yahoo’s mobile services as well as on pages by other publishers.

The new ad network is part of an initiative that contains new Yahoo! mobile applications, as well as integration with its current array of publishers: MobiTV (which streams video to cell phones), Opera (a company that makes a mobile Web browser), and Go2 (a yellow pages site).

Yahoo now joins mobile ad companies such as Third Screen Media and AdMob in the small, but rapidly expanding, market for mobile advertising.

Yahoo to Offer a Network for Web Ads on Cellphones [NYT]