Why Mobile Content is Slow to Grow

    May 7, 2007

I just finished reading a NYT article on the frustration being felt by Hollywood because they can’t get advertising dollars to support their mobile content.

…while short, multiepisode cellphone series are growing in popularity, the lucrative advertising dollars prevalent in other entertainment segments — and which studios rely on for profit — have been slow to migrate to the supersmall screen…”an advertiser would have to pay us to develop content for wireless phones because right now there is no business model. There has to be a way to make money there.”

Welcome to the world of new media! Here’s where you’re going wrong.

Trying to monetize a product out of the gates, is clearly going to lead to a slower adoption rate.

Think for a second, can you point to any successful new media company that slapped ads on its product from the very beginning, and then went on to dominate?

Hard, isn’t it. Now take a look at what worked for others.

Google? No ads when they first launched.

Once they had market share and users, they started introducing sponsored ads.

YouTube? Ditto. They built the user-base first, discovered what they wanted, and are only now starting to monetize video content.

MySpace? How long did MySpace go before they started using ads to generate revenue?

Do you think it would have become half as popular, if they had launched with ads everywhere?

Listen-up Hollywood. Instead of thinking you need to make money on mobile videos out of the gate, invest a little first. Give us free shows, free videos, free music – get us excited about mobile content.

Show us we can’t live without it.

Once you have our attention, then you’ll have the user base to understand what type of advertising might work, and we’ll give you the opportunity to show it to us!