MTV and Mobile Content

The New York Times writes:

By the most optimistic counts, there are only about 3 million people out of the almost 200 million cellphone users in the United States who now watch video on their phones. Other analysts say the number of those who watch regularly is much lower, which leads them to ask whether people really want another version of television, one they can literally take anywhere. Judging by what is happening in other parts of the world, where the mobile-television experiment is well under way, the more pertinent questions are: What are they going to want to watch? Will it be regular live television, redirected to their phones? Or typical television fare, edited and re-packaged to suit a screen smaller than a business card? It might end up being neither, but instead a new amalgam that feels little like traditional television and more like the increasingly video-dominated Web like computer games, like the kind of shaggy user-generated video and mashed-up video clips that began as novelties for people killing time in their cubicles but are now on their way to becoming big business.

MTV’s international channels have been providing cellphone entertainment, mostly repackaged TV clips, for almost a year. In fact, MTV claims to be the world’s largest mobile-content provider. When the demand for cellular television materializes in the United States, people like Sirulnick say that it is likely to be most intense among the generation of young people that has never known a world without wireless, for whom a cellphone is not just a phone but an entertainment center, a dating service, a scrapbook, a virtual hangout and a fashion statement in other words, MTV’s core viewers, the network’s to keep or lose.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.