Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Challenges of the Third Screen

In November, Fox Network launched its tenth mobisode (mobile episode) series for cell phones, a spinoff of Bones. The series, Lil' Bush: Resident of the United States series is so popular, it will now be seen on Comedy Central TV.

Film schools across the nation are adding classes on how to write and produce video for mobile devices. The Sundance Institute has commissioned five independent directors to produce films for mobile phones. Robert Redford, of the Sundance Institute, said that he hoped to see the return of the short film. There are more limitations than just screen size when filming for mobile devices. Nightshots and wide angle shots do not work. Details usually visible on regular TV are easily lost on the third screen.

Advertisers will have to get creative to blend with this new genre of film. The future of mobile video is uncertain. Millions of video-capable cell phones are sold, but only 2.5 percent of subscribers watch videos on their phones. Most cell phone companies offer a package including video; but the price, starting at $15 per month, is too high for most cell phone users.

Cell phone providers are under pressure to make the mobile TV more appealing and less costly to consumers. They will have to do it while investing billions of dollars to make advanced video viewing a reality on the third screen. Advertising-supported mobisodes are one solution.

How to sell and incorporate advertising on the third screen is the real challenge. There have been forays into freebies-for-watching advertising, incorporating short branding spots, and automatic insertion of advertising based upon viewing interests. What is next? Behavioral targeting based on retail price of mobile device used? Pay per view? Only on a SmartPhone?

If interested in advertising on the third screen, you may want to view these posts:
Mobile Advertising is Ready For Prime Time Marketing
Multimedia Marketing Offers Special Challenges

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is really interesting stuff.. I like taking photos with my phone camera.. I like the ethereal hazy effect from low pixels.. making a short film for mobiles would be really challenging... happy new year :)

ps pimped by charles


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