Russell Beattie writes:
Here’s why I think consuming multimedia on the phone will be a big hit: It’s about distractions. Every time I try to view a video or presentation on my computer, I get distracted. I start opening up other web pages, or get an email or something and lose track of the video or audio. On my TV that doesn’t happen because there’s only one thing going on, and I’m in a place that’s meant for viewing (my couch). Same thing for mobile multimedia: If I’m on a train or a bus or in a doctor’s office or driving down the street, that’s the place where I can be dedicated to a task such as viewing a video or listening to a recording. There’s little else to distract from the enjoyment of that experience. This is why mobile games are so popular now. When you have that extra moment, you play the game and you can focus on that game.
I imagine how mobile multimedia could be used very simply like this: You get to the clinic and there’s at least 4 people waiting ahead of you. You’ve got 20 minutes (at least) of cooling your heals. You could pick up a 3 month-old magazine and start flipping, or you can pull out your smart phone and see what sort of entertainment possibilities there are. Now, you can thumb through the commercial offerings – say the latest episode of Friends or reruns of old Seinfeld episodes – or you can check your aggregator to see which of the multimedia moblogs you follow have been updated. You see a couple titles which are interesting, so you stream them to your device, or if we’re not talking 2005 (which is when 3G will start to be common) you could click on the videos and request that they get downloaded in the background while you read some news. When you finally get the content, you sit and watch something which could have been created that very day, in less time than it’s taking me to write this post, but be just as compelling.
Mobile multimedia will be *big*. Not just in the sense that you can watch movies on a phone, but that you can watch movies *created* on a phone. The ease of use in creating and posting that the new devices allow and the fact that you can consume this content anywhere you go is going to combine to make it the killer mobile app. Also look for the telecom carriers to push it like *crazy* because they will eventually all realize that their business is simply selling Kilobytes and little more, and what better way to get people to start consuming those bytes but streaming multimedia?