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Communication, Games and Commerce in Mobile, Social Media, Broadband & Music

Another session at the Digital Hollywood conference. Here are my notes from the session.

Stephanie Bohn – VP Marketing / Warner Bros. Digital Distribution
Sean Nolan – VP Online Operations and External Online Marketing / Rodale – Men’s Health, Running World, etc.
Jennifer Cooper – Founder and Principle / Rocket Spark Media
Paul Lee – Head of Digital Ventures / Playboy
Sun Jen Yung – Managing Dirctor Headwaters MB – Moderator

  • What are the interesting apps that you are seeing in the mobile space these days?
    • I like Adobe Systems – they are bringing exceptional content to the non-iPhone native environment, but obviously support IOS. Gaming is moving into the mobile environment with full featured games. As the technology moves forward, we will see a complete redesign of the gaming space. 10-12 years ago we talked about video and rich video – gaming industry will bring better graphics with more capabilities – Jennifer Cooper
    • TV – MLB app is the greatest app ever invented – Sean Nolan. His son only consumes via the mobile app market – not via TV etc.
    • Digital books (mainly for kids). – Stephanie Bohn – Toy Story 3 application was a great thing from Disney. They had brand going for it.
    • – tracks apps and statistics for Apple.
    • People are willing to pay to get into this space. The challenge for most media companies is that mobile is not a great investment today – but it will be in the future. – Paul Lee
    • Searchability in the iPhone store is tough, even if you are a known brand.
  • What type of business models work best in the mobile market for gaming?
    • Depends on the overall strategy of the game. The ‘Premium’ model works best as most people download the free apps rather.
    • If the game doesn’t work as a modular experience then you are going to want to give it a flat rate.
    • In game advertising is another model. Farmville is an example of this working.
    • Scale has to come into play and can you support the load that you are going to get if you are using virtual currency or credits?
    • There are so many models emerging in this space – the technical implications will dictate this.
    • Paul Lee doesn’t like the models in the mobile market. Economics are tough in mobile because you can’t have any whales (big spenders). You really need that in mobile and it isn’t there.
    • Mobile is a tough business and from a VC standpoint – Paul Lee doesn’t like the mobile models that much.
    • It is a scale business and it is a tough business – Stephanie Bohn
  • Media Tablets will have strong sales. Is there a market for iPad apps by itself or is it just an extension of the current iPhone market?
    • Paul Lee – Yes and No. Playboy is exploring it. Obviously the iPad offers some new opportunities.
    • The iPad sparked the tablet industry … something no one else has done. – Jennifer Cooper
    • The iPad won’t be the only game in town. – JC
    • This is the convergence that we have all been talking about for some time – JC
    • The economics don’t currently pay off to do an iPad app by itself. – SB
  • When you look at building mobile apps today – how do you look at Android and other platforms?
    • Android is interesting though carrier billing is not there. This is an affluent audience and they are used to getting things for free. Currently we look at the games as only for IOS and we will do Android some other time. – SB
    • It can be very expensive to port these apps – SB
    • Android is running ahead of IOS in the last six months
    • Android should hire someone from Apple – Paul Lee. Apple is just so much better. Android has a lot to do to catch up. They should redesign.
    • RIM just announced Playbook – it is supposedly a cross-over device. It will be more of an entertainment device. Maybe RIM will do something really creative.
  • In terms of iPhone apps – there are 20+ categories. What other verticals do you find interesting?
    • I’ve been asking Apple for years to create a comic category – SB
    • Warner Bros owns DC Comics and wants a better presence. – SB. In effect our app is a storefront to buy comics for your device.
  • Is the mobile market more exciting than the standard market?
    • Not sure if should be spending so much time on the mobile. Wired just reported that online is dead.
    • There has been a 7x increase in mobile users accessing their properties in the last six months – Sean
    • Every RFP is leading with mobile – companies are leading with mobile. If we don’t have a strong mobile offering then we are not going to be closing these integrated deals – Sean
    • In mobile – advertising is more attractive than commerce. – Sean
    • People think that the KPIs are better than mobile and they are not.
  • Promoted tweets from Twitter?
    • Twitter will evolve their business and is this the next big advertising model? They are half the size of Facebook in half the time. If you want to buy bulk – where did you go before this? Long term is redefined as a term. 12 months can be long term – JC
    • It is interesting, but I don’t think that is long term. Consumers are pretty savvy. Today you have to promote if you are being paid to advertise – SB “We will all be very jaded soon”
    • Tough model – Paul Lee
  • You don’t see a lot of video applications due to DRM. We want to have our content wrapped in more protective ways. Studios are looking at additional distributions. DRM is the priority. Piracy is rampant. DRM is something we think about everyday – SB
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010 9:01 AM | Back to top

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