morph has an overview of The Media Center’s Mobile Media: Opportunities and Strategies for a Mobile, Broadband Generation program. A little backgrounder about the growing influence of mobiles in our lives:
Here’s a call to artists and writers (hereafter known as content providers): Prepare to create for a whole new market, those with spare money to invest. Prepare to pay attention. And for those with spare time, prepare to never stop paying.
In the future, you’re going to have a lot more options concerning how to spend your downtime, roughly defined as the time in-between the times you’re actually doing something. If you’re home and you’re bored, you turn on the TV. If you’re bored in the car, there’s the radio. But what if you’re bored in an elevator or in a line? What if the waiter is taking forever with your salad or you arrived at the theater early? You could try meditating, but Buddhism doesn’t fit in the Mobilista plans to fill every second of your day with something to do. You take out your cell phone and while away the seconds.
The first mobile phones (Generation 1) were analog, the next (G2) were digital, and we’re now entering the G3 era, where phones have a cornucopia of new uses, including 4 to 6 gigabyte hard drives, text messaging (140 characters per screen) and the full streaming of channels that will deliver video and MP3 quality sound. Before you write this off as a passing fad,consider that American Idol gets 14 million text messages during voting. It’s a world with 150 different devices on the market, where “viral” is a good thing, where immediacy trumps quality, and there are so many protocols it makes the VHS/Beta debate look like rock/paper/scissors.
The Mobilistas figure, with good reason, that nowadays no one leaves home without their keys, their wallet, and their cell phone. If they could take over your keys and your wallet, they probably would, but right now they’re aiming at what they can get at. Mobile media, media in bite-sized chunks – where the biggest sellers are ringtones and wallpaper, making overnight millionaires of people smart enough to be selling them – is specifically created to access on the move. It’s not TV — too long. It’s not Internet — the screen’s too small for serious research and it’s not even compatible with HTML. Mobile media is a brand new thing, aimed at people who can’t stand going for one single nanosecond without something to do.