Mobile TV

General and Mobile TV and Politics and SprintNextelEmily on 05 Sep 2008 09:01 am

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing noted author Nate Wilcox in a video for Mobile Future.  Nate is the co-author of Netroots Rising: How a Citizen Army of Bloggers and Online Activists is Changing American Politics.

With the convention season in full swing, Nate’s interview is timely – as he discusses the impact of mobile integration (particularly texting) that has uniquely characterized this 2008 election process.

Nate is currently a senior strategist at the Alexandria, VA based WebStrong Group.  Some highlights of his extensive political career include work with the campaigns of John Kerry and Ann Richards,
and a role as the Online Communications Director for Governor Mark Warner’s Forward Together PAC.

Update – We wanted to give you some additional info on Nate’s Background, for a full bio please click here.

General and Mobile TV and SprintNextelchris on 18 Sep 2007 02:04 pm

crp-picture-002.jpg  I was in Ann Arbor this past weekend for the Michigan game.  After watching the Wolverines dismantle the Irish, we grabbed dinner downtown.  As I pondered the impact of the Wolverines victory – whether they are getting better or Notre Dame’s just really bad – my friend tells me that USC is losing to Nebraska.  I figured he was just checking scores.  However, he gives me his Treo and I’m suddenly watching a live feed of the USC game!

My buddy was using his Sprint Treo and watching mobile TV via his Slingbox.  Slingbox is a service which allows you to watch your “home” programming on a device of your choice (computer, mobile phone).  On this note, I know this is a dilemma for carriers that are trying to promote their own offerings. 

The key question – do they allow this service to grow and have it potentially cannabilize their own service?  My answer is yes.  Streaming Slingbox is not cannabilizing this opportunity –  it is growing a market that does not exist. 

As many folks know, wireless carriers are hoping that Mobile TV is going to generate revenues in the near future. However, at this point in the game, it is really hard to tell if consumers are even interested in such a product. In fact, I have not heard any buzz about mobile TV at all.  That doesn’t mean there is no chance of success.  Consumers weren’t clamoring for text messaging a few years ago but that has turned out to be a quite profitable and growing revenue source.

There is potential for the product but carriers have some current limitations.  For instance:

Lots of folks don’t have handsets that are capable of viewing tv broadcasts.

Only a few select cities are offering the service. 

Only a small percentage of new handsets are equipped with video capability.

Those challenges will be addressed sooner rather than later.  However, in the interim, let consumers enjoy and promote this service.  Both carriers and consumers will reap the benefits.

Will YOU tune in?

General and Mobile TV and Policy and YouTubechris on 10 May 2007 10:18 pm

The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on the future of video this morning. As I mentioned earlier this week, Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA) put together a great panel.

The first observation I would like to make is Mark Cuban wore a suit. Once again, Mark Cuban wore a suit. On that note, at a break in the action, I mentioned to him that I lost a bet due to his attire choice. He laughed and mentioned that he was glad it fit after all these years. Mr. Cuban not only looked the part — his testimony was sharp as well. Continue Reading »

General and Mobile TV and Policy and Spectrum and YouTubechris on 08 May 2007 10:15 am

This Thursday, the House Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on The Future of Video.  I look forward to attending and learning from the great panel that has been invited.

The witness list for Thursday – Mark Cuban (HDNet), Blake Krikorian (CEO, Sling Media), Chad Hurley (YouTube), Gina Lombardi (President, MediaFLO; Qualcomm), Ben Pyne (Disney and ESPN networks), Tom Rogers (TiVo), and Phil Rosenthal (Writers Guild of America, West and Screen Actors Guild). Continue Reading »

General and Mobile TV and VON 2007chris on 02 Apr 2007 09:23 am

According to a study reported on, “only 5% of people with broadband connections in the United States, approximately five million people, use the mobile internet, despite 60% of them having a mobile internet device.” My question for diners is what can stimulate this market?

Ashley covered the VON show a few weeks ago and I believe that more mobile video options combined with more coverage (3G, WiFi or WiMax) could be the right medicine. With regard to mobile video, I feel that mobile video cams like the Nokia N93 and N95 offer bloggers, citizen journalists and others a chance to broadcast anywhere.

Steve Garfield has demonstrated his skills in this area. As Ashley mentioned in her coverage, Steve can record, watch and edit video with his N95. We not only need more devices on the market but we need folks who can also teach us how to optimize the features. On that note, perhaps the carriers should set up something like Apple’s ProCare package. As Apple users know, for an additional $100, you can get tutored by Apple gurus on how to utilize your Mac. Phones these days are loaded with great stuff. However, in many instances, the phone is not user-friendly and reading the thick user manual is not an option.

Ninety percent of revenue in the wireless business comes from voice and text messaging. The carriers are having some success in growing data revenues but they are counting on broadband to drive future revenues. Perhaps, more user generated video content (not just downloading but uploading), more Rocketbooms and more Steve Garfields will help unleash the full potential of the wireless revolution.

General and Mobile TV and Politics and Press and VON 2007Ashley on 25 Mar 2007 03:33 pm

Steve Garfield, videoblogger at and Boston correspondent for Rocketboom, gave an inspring presentation on “A New Look at Content.”  (Aside from the presentation itself, Steve was nice enough to take some time with Chris and I to give us some interviewing and video blogging tips for the diner, which were very much appreciated.) 

Steve has become a leader in videoblogging, and I highly suggest that anyone interested in starting a video blog check out his tips

For Steve, cell phones have become an integral way of capturing, producing, and sharing content immediately.  He currently uses the Nokia N93 and is testing the Nokia N95.  As you will see in the presentation, Steve shot and edited a clip in 15 minutes on a train with the Nokia N95, and then later uploaded it via wifi.  Here is a picture of Steve filming with his N93 during the presentation:

steve-garfield-2.jpg Continue Reading »

General and Mobile TV and VON 2007Ashley on 25 Mar 2007 02:37 pm

As Chris explained, our ‘Jetblued’ traveling experience caused a bit of a delay in getting back to DC.  Incidentally, my Thursday evening post has turned into a Sunday afternoon post.  Tardiness aside, the insights shared at the conference were invaluable, and I am truly grateful to Jeff Pulver for inviting me to cover Video on the Net. 

Shelly Palmer, managing Partner of Advanced Media Ventures Group, LLC, led the Video on the Net conference discussions.  He opened the conference by discussing the many different models for Internet TV, such as video-snacking, download-to-own, and streaming, as well as the three revenue models for TV and all content on the Internet- I pay, You pay, Someone else pays.  However, while many promote the ‘end of TV as we know it,’ Palmer emphasized that that is not yet the case, noting that while production capabilities have been democratized, promotion has not.  He cited the fact that 20-25% of advertising on television is for TV programming itself.  The Internet does not currently have a model for such promotion, and until this is achieved, Internet video will not eliminate TV as we know it, but rather will evolve independently, with its own advertising and revenue models. Continue Reading »

General and Mobile TV and Verizon WirelessAshley on 08 Feb 2007 03:10 pm

Just four months after abandoning its failed run as an MVNO, Mobile ESPN is going to be relaunched on Verizon’s V Cast service.  Through the deal, Verizon hopes to boost subscription to its V Cast services. 

Mobile ESPN is likely the first step in Verizon’s upcoming venture with MediaFLO: V Cast Mobile TV, which was unveiled at the CES tradeshow and will likely launch nationally sometime in the next few months.  Verizon calls V Cast Mobile TV “the first truly live broadcast mobile TV service.” 

At the same time, other MVNO’s, such as Amp’d Mobile, are beginning to develop their own video content to offer on their services.  Amp’d Mobile, which targets the 18-25 year old market, announced on Monday new content development deals with comedian Jack Black and the executive producer of “24.”

All of this development will certainly be good for creating demand for mobile TV in general- whether for original content or for current Network offerings.  Personally, I’d much rather watch clips from Gtown games or catch the latest news about my Eagles than watch, say, “The Mexican Crazy Show” on my phone.  For me, at the moment at least, mobile TV is about watching whatever I may be missing at home rather than new content. 

Do people think MVNO’s will survive with original and user-generated content in specialized niche markets? Or might Verizon’s and other carriers’ foray into mobile TV dampen the success of MVNOs offering multimedia content?  

General and Mobile TV and PoliticsAshley on 01 Feb 2007 05:44 pm

CRP Picture

Chris and I made our way over to the Senate last night for the Internet Caucus Tech Fair to check out the latest technology on the tubes.

We met Jeff Pulver and some of the guys from Network2, who got us excited for our trip out to San Jose for the Video on the Net Conference!

Some other highlights: Continue Reading »

General and Google and Mobile TV and PolicyAshley on 30 Jan 2007 12:11 pm

The Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee will be holding the 10th Annual Kickoff Reception and Technology Exhibition in the Hart Senate Office Building, Room 902, from 5-7 PM tomorrow night.  The event is free, and will showcase technology from 25 demonstrators, including Google, Skype, Sling Media, Microsoft, and Network 2.

Network2 is a TV guide to independently produced web-based shows that was developed by Jeff Pulver this past fall.  Jeff announced on his blog today that he is holding his first internet video contest, with a grand prize of $25,000.  He is asking for submissions of internet TV shows or videoblogs that deal with “How to Watch Internet TV” and mention Network2.  If you get a chance, it may be interesting to stop by and chat with these guys at the exhibition about where internet TV is headed.

General and Mobile TV and Politics and YouTubeAshley on 23 Jan 2007 10:44 am

A few weeks ago, I weighed in on the emergence of internet video campaigning in the ’08 elections.  Since Edwards’ announcement on YouTube, Clinton and Obama have both come out with similar videos announcing their intentions to run.

I applaud all three for capitalizing on the growing popularity of internet video- it is a great political move that will resonate with an essential demographic.  Their efforts also help to give weight and credibility to internet video as a medium and a news outlet in general.

Nonetheless, I maintain that internet video campaigning, which is both inexpensive and easily dispersed, will not sustain over the next 22 months as a controlled entity.  These fabricated videos of Edwards in jeans connecting with the people of New Orleans and of Hillary seated on a flowery couch in a cozy living room will not be the ultimate picture of internet video campaigning in ’08.  While I agree with others that this will be the YouTube Presidency, I don’t think that the internet video revolution will continue to be so malleable and controllable, and I certainly don’t think it will always work in candidates’ favors.  As Susan Estrich predicts in a recent article, “The internet will decide this election. Whoever figures out how to use it best, whoever is helped most or hurt least by its reach, will win.”  I think we all have alot to look forward to in terms of the kinds of videos we can expect to find their way to the internet from the campaign trail…    

What do people in the diner think:  Will this be a politically profitable medium?  Does it speak to the viability of internet video as a campaign tool that only Democrats have employed it so far?  Are Republicans missing out?

General and Mobile TVAshley on 18 Jan 2007 10:36 am

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Amol Sharma delved into the developing world of mobile web advertising and explained some of the ways advertisers and carriers alike are trying to capitalize on the rapidly growing mobile web market. As he points out, while there are a number of strategies currently being developed and tested, no one mobile web advertising model has yet emerged from the pack as being superior. As phones begin to replace not only standard computers but TV’s as well, tapping into this revenue stream will become a priority for both start-up advertisers and those tried and true advertisers who are and will continue to lose revenue from standard advertising models. But more so than the question of how mobile advertising is going to be profitable, carriers and advertisers need to ask themselves which models consumers are going to tolerate. Continue Reading »

General and Mobile TV and YouTubechris on 28 Nov 2006 01:38 pm

The New York Times Reports that YouTube has announced an exclusive deal – for a limited time – with Verizon Wireless.  Overall, I think this is a great announcement.  However, there are some details that could be improved.

The Good – I think YouTube could ignite excitement in Mobile TV.  Analogous to AT&T Wireless’ sponsorship of American Idol and it helping to spur text messaging services, I believe this gets people interested in something they are not yet demanding.

The Bad -  I don’t like the $15 bucks-a-month subscription to VCast, the exclusive deal with Verizon and limited selection of videos.  As a frequent user of YouTube, I would not pay the $15 extra dollars to see videos that were pre-selected.  I may not even have access to “my favorites.”

The better barometer are folks in the diner.  Would you sign up for this service?

Any ideas for Verizon Wireless on how to offer this product?  What’s the recipe for success?