Sunday, October 23, 2005

Dean Bubley: The Multimedia Delusions of "Old Mobile"

Dean Bubley posts his thoughts on the potential of mobile content distribution at his Disruptive Wireless blog. Bubley thinks a lot o the talk is "another attempt by the increasingly-cloistered "Old Mobile" industry to pretend that it can defend its worldview against growth of the Internet, home broadband, IP, iTunes, Bittorrent and various other emerging multimedia technologies." He presents two factors why the industry is over-optimistic:

firstly, mobile devices have multiple ways of getting content on and off the device - cellular, WLAN, memory cards, Bluetooth, USB etc. They're also getting smarter - full operating systems like Symbian and Windows Mobile, better Java and so on. Basically, the user will find it easier to play arbitrage games, getting cheaper/better/more convenient content via the PC or other sources, without DRM limiting their content portfolio to a single device or mobile carrier (fancy losing your music or video library when you switch operators?)
secondly, an ever-increasing population is getting used to broadband home Internet access. This is rapidly setting an expectation that there's a lot of "good free stuff" available, with even more "premium but not that expensive stuff". That expectation didn't really exist in massmarket perception 2 years ago, and is now growing incredibly rapidly - more rapidly than the use of mobile content on phones. I believe that these attitudes will rapidly extend to the mobile world, and will undermine the supposed value of the "conversation" around mobile content.