This video is from iPhone & Beyond, an event held at the Landmark Theater in West Hollywood by ContentNext.
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The mobile revolution is happening. There are two trends going on. First, the move towards open standards and open platforms is extremely important for content developers. It reduces the cost of going to market and the barriers to market (content producers and application developers don’t have to go the distribution channels of the carriers). And regulators are giving a clear signal that they want the market to move towards open standards.
Secondly, there are innovations in the user interface on the hand set, which will spur adoption and growth in the market. Less attention is being paid towards adding more and more new features to phones. More attention is being paid to making the user experience a good one. And improved user experience helps drive growth.
Trying to distribute and sell content to users has been challenging in the past. Discoverabilty was lacking. Even if people knew what they were looking for they weren’t sure how to access it or download it on their cell phone. The iPhone improves the user experience and helps publishers expose their content to consumers.
The iPhone will cause a lot of good disruption in the industry. Currently the carriers have a stranglehold on the market, which is not a good thing.
How do start-ups and other independent players view the iPhone and the opportunities it provides to content companies?
The key reason we own phones is to communicate with others. We can talk. We can SMS. We’ve only begun to tap the social networking aspect of the cell phone. The iPhone is the first cell phone which is a consumer device. The home page isn’t the carrier deck. Carriers walled gardens are preventing growth. But they are coming down.
The iPhone is pushing the envelope on open standards, e.g. the Wifi capabilities. Paradoxically, the iPhone is also the most closed mobile device today. It has to be hacked. It is more open in terms of the browser and the web. But the problems with hacks and updates has been well documented.
With the upcoming spectrum auction, the panel wants a new entrant (Apple? Google?) to win, not one of the incumbants. There needs to be a new entrant that will break the rules of the big 4 carriers.
What is mobile web?
It can be WML, CHTML, transcoding sites (creating versions optimized for the phone), make a full featured Web browser like Apple. Google Maps still has their own application on the iPhone. Mobile version of the web with the user interface kept in mind. Native UI applications such as Ajax enabled iPhone.
Unfortunately, you need to develop UI for over 700 different handsets. Vodaphone, for example, will not distribute your content, such as games, if you don’t support their entire line of handsets.
What are the different revenue models besides advertising and subscription?
VC’s are only listening to companies that have a direct to consumer advertisign model that does not require a carrier distribution deal.
This seminar for content executives examines opportunities with the launch of iPhone and other developments since then–Nokia’s new open handsets and music platform, and the rumored launch of Google’s phone–and how these are shifting views of the mobile content platform, and the larger developments in the industry with emerging consensus on open networks–including the recent changes in specrum auction rules by FCC–and free flow of content.
How do these development move the industry forward? Also, what do the iPhone’s omissions say about the progress that still needs to be made? Then with Apple cutting the iPhone prices by $200 (and the resulting controversies), indications are that the world hasnâ€™t completely changed with the phoneâ€™s launch. What led to these Apple mis-steps, and what does it say in general about our industry? What kind of services can the industry hope for, as the handset evolves into an open platform? How does all this affect the media and entertainment industry?
This half-day seminar focused on the practical problems and conceptual leaps the industry needs to make to enable open content and communication services on handsets and networks. And lastly, some more debate on the eternal question: Carriers Vs Content Providers–Battle Or Opportunity?
– Jason Devitt, CEO, Skydeck, former founder and CEO, Vindigo;
– Leighton Webb, SVP, Content Strategy & Licensing, I-Play;
– Omar Hamoui, CEO of Admob;
– Christopher Allen, Founder, Alacrity Ventures and founder, iPhoneWebDev group
– George Linardos, Director of Experience, Forum Nokia;
– Chris Petrovic, VP, Digital Media, Playboy Enterprises;
– Cyriac Roeding, EVP, CBS Mobile;
– Craig Shapiro, Head of Content, Helio;
– Alex Bloom, GM of Smartphone, Motricity.