Mobile Television, What a Load of ...

Here I am, Rosi Crane, at my desk.

Who would want to watch an episode, or even a short excerpt, on a tiny mobile phone screen? Certainly not me, but then I admit to being the wrong generation for such things. My kids laugh at me when I text, I can't manage with one thumb. I have to hold the phone in one hand, and use the index finger of the other to press the buttons. But, I venture that those that can use their mobiles with such ease don't want to screen whole programmes either. Of course, one limiting factor is cost, but I venture that even if services were free they wouldn't.

This view has been better expressed by Jon Helmrich in a recent magazine article (RealScreen April/May2007), ‘As an industry, we're all aflutter over the potential revenue to be generated by the convergence of video and mobile platforms. You can't open a trade magazine without seeing at least one story on mobile video’ he says. He also cites a recent survey where only 1.5% of wireless subscribers streamed or played video on their mobile phones, and goes on to raise the question ‘What we don't know, unfortunately, is if this is a result of poor marketing, the mobile phone companies' failure to educate consumers as to the capabilities of the mobile devices, or simply a lack of consumer interest.’

By mobile phone, of course I include all the various hand-held devices, but that is such a clumsy phrase that it's easier to talk simply about mobile phones. There it is again, another qualification, symptomatic of the poor marketing and lack of education. Hand-held devices, pah! Can't we think of something a little more catchy? The phrase mobile devices doesn't do much for me either. But I guess we're stuck with them.

At NHNZ Images, we are not immune from the currents and trends of mobility towards convergence of television, video onto a small screen. Surely there is a market for television on mobile phones. As fascinating, arresting, intriguing and interesting clips. The water cooler moments, the amazing shots, the freaky, the weird and the unusual. It is something different from the user-generated content found on You-Tube or Google Video which may fit these categories and it is different again from standard staid documentaries. Clips that can stand-alone, on their own two feet, and probably no longer than 2 minutes. Hey, I’m guessing but this is certainly the sort of thing that we at NHNZ Images can supply.