The Mobile POV from Experts at Digital Hollywood at CES

This is reposted from 360i's Digital Connections

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While at the Consumer Electronics Show, I moderated a panel at Digital Hollywood on “Mobile Commerce
and Content: The Mobile Web, Texting, Search, and Advertising Options.” As you
can see, the panel covered a lot of ground, and I can’t begin to capture it all.
But I did take some notes and I’ll share those here.

I need to thank my panelists here for all their insight, and I wish I could
have done the session more justice, but look out for any of them as you’re
guaranteed to learn a few things.

  • Ali Rana, Vice President, Digital Strategy, Dynamic Logic
  • Jamie Wells, Director, Global Trade Marketing, Microsoft Mobile
    Advertising
  • Brian Johnson, Senior Vice President, Americas and Asia Pacific,
    mBlox
  • Thomas Roberts, Chief Product Officer, Digital and Mobile Services,
    kgb
  • Pooj Preena, CEO, Groupe Hi-Media USA;
  • Greg Fawcett, co-founder, MobiAd Sales

Here are some of the questions covered during the session:

How is 2010 different from 2009 for mobile?

Apple and Google are now in it. Google couldn’t crack mobile alone so it
needed AdMob, especially to get a presence in mobile apps along with broadening
its reach i mobile display.

Google also made a major impact with Android. The first Android phone debuted
in October 2008 and by the end of 2009 there were 20 Android phones on the
market globally.

Mergers and acquisition activity overall was strong. One panelist noted,
“These large bets were placed for a reason.” Expect a lot of consolidation
ahead, especially with the glut of ad networks.

What’s the best mobile advertising model?

Mobile doesn’t have the corollary to search yet – that killer model. And
search isn’t as seamless or useful on the phone. Some debate ensued as to how
purposeful the consumer activity on mobile was to begin with, as one in
particular felt activity skewed more toward time killing activities like casual
gaming, while others saw more purposeful usage. My take: any killer model is
going to have a heavy focus on local marketing, and that may well transcend
search/display/video, web/apps/SMS, and other iterations.

What are challenges for micropayments?

Consumers still largely pay for ringtones, chat, and wallpaper. Carriers take
a large chunk of micropayment transactions, as high as 30 to 60 percent. That’s
fine for virtual goods with low overhead, but it doesn’t work as well for
physical goods. iTunes has established itself in micropayments in a way that
Google hasn’t with Google Checkout.

Watch out for Facebook here as it turns on mobile monetization. Its online
monetization methods such as advertising and virtual gift payments don’t exist
yet in mobile, but they’ll need to turn that on.

How important are all the handsets that aren’t
smartphones?

Generally panelists were bullish on them and focus on such handsets,
especially internationally in certain markets where smartphones lag far behind
the U.S.

Thanks again to all the panelists who were far more eloquent on stage than
I am here, but at least now a few others can get a taste of the session.

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