CBS Soaping Up Cellphones

    January 12, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Angst, betrayal, deception, murder, of course, soap operas have their bad points too; anyway, CBS has a mobisoap planned for mobile phones, for daily broadcast.

Hey, it’s me. That’s how people announce themselves on cellphone calls, at least that’s what CBS thinks.

That’s the title of the CBS mobile phone soap opera: “Hey, It’s Me.” Daily 3 to 5 minute broadcasts will be in production soon, the Washington Post said, with a dedicated cast, writers, and production staff.

“We are a content company, and we want to be where the viewer is,” Chris Ender, a CBS spokesman, said in the report. “Consumers — and certainly younger consumers — are with their cell phones.” Variety Magazine identified writer-producer James Dutcher and Leah Hecker as the talent charged with creating the episodes.

Media companies of all types lust after those younger, freer-spending consumers, and any opportunity to push more marketing messages to them gets the attention of advertisers. Those chances used to belong to television, a medium that has seen its audience depart for the Internet in increasing numbers.

Just as broadband connectivity has become more available and adopted by consumers, demand for more online content increased. Wireless providers have been rolling out their high-speed networks, but cost has kept them from mass adoption, paralleling the problem Internet providers faced when broadband debuted.

Mobisoaps got a tryout in 2005, when Fox created one-minute episodes based on the series “24.” Called “24: Conspiracy,” Fox made it available on Verizon’s new high-speed wireless network. It can be found on 24’s season four DVD set.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.