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Opinion: MEF Mobile Entertainment Trends for 2009

February 19, 2009

What does the future hol...furtune cookies dont lie! :)

Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) have released their Mobile Entertainment Trends for 2009, or in other words, what they think will shape and impact upon mobile entertainment this year. The list of predictions was published a few days ago, and after a good digest, I cant help but have a few distinct impressions. 

Top 10 Mobile Entertainment trends for 2009

  • The ‘iPhone effect’ –Mobile applications have emerged as a new content category and the mobile internet will finally come of age – What a broad sweeping statement! Firstly, applications are a ‘new’ content category? Correct me if I am wrong, but apps have long been a content provider for consumers, especially as entertainment! In my opinion,  its more of a focus on how apps will change the way we use our mobiles in 2009. With announcements by Orange, Nokia and many more to launch their own App Stores, its down to who can offer the best service for all demographics. Secondly, the mobile internet will finally come of age. What is this supposed to mean?! Come of age could mean an increase to the established user base, or it could mean that 90% of users use the mobile internet for a meaningful service! Think you need to elaborate here MEF!
  • Greater value and transparency for consumers will help sustain demand in 2009 – This statement is just as vague and as transparent as the so called ‘demand’. What is this demand MEF? Is this a demand for applicable consumer content? Demand for technological advances in handsets?
  • Some delay in the proliferation of mobile advertising – There is no indication as to how long ‘some delay’ could be, however in essence it is correct. Mobile Advertising is young and needs nurturing. Although there will be significant advances this year for mobile advertising, I do not think it will be the year it is universally  accepted.
  • Telcos begin to acts as enablers for the Entertainment industry with services such as billing, authentication and zero tariff data driving take-up 
  • The emerging dominance of services that operate at a multi-platform level – There are and have been services that operate across a multitude of platforms involving mobile, and on reflection, many of these services have been a resounding success. Those who focus their energy solely on mobile have had mixed success, but the future is definitely set for start ups to work across multiple platforms. One to watch out for is Spotify should it expand into mobile.
  • The rise of ring back tones – Not too sure about this to be honest. Its a nice idea, but goes great lengths to retract from the tradition of a ringing tone. The jury is out here…
  • Social networking becomes an important driver of mobile entertainment consumption – Absolutely. 2008 showed how important social networking was to an increase in mobile internet consumption, and do believe that this will continue to grow alongside the entertainment industry. It would not surprise me if a dedicated mobile music/movie network appeared on mobile, allowing consumers on the spot access to film previews and album content from their favourite, as well as the ability to comment and rate said content. 
  • 2009 will be the year that mobile video really takes off – Take 2 then for mobile video. After the miserable demise of Mobile TV in the UK, it is rearing its head once again. With expanding screen sizes, mobile video has the chance to become great. Whether Mobile TV will follow its journey it remains to be seen.
  • Emerging Economies will become an increasingly important driver for mobile entertainment worldwide – Anyone care to explain this for me? For the love of me I cannot see a reason why emerging economies will drive mobile entertainment usage?!?!
  • A proliferation of touch screen devices continues to drives discoverability and content usage – After experiencing a range of touch screen devices in 2008 (LG Viewty, iPhone and Storm), I can say that I do agree with this. The touch screen provides a whole new world of interaction and usability, and I hope that developers continue to find new and innovative ways in which the touch screen can be used to enhance the entertainment value of our handsets.

So that’s it, the end of the list. As you can see a real mix of points, some with real substance, others that feel like a shot out of the blue. I would love to hear others opinions on these predictions, or even see the research that went into publishing them.

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