Friday, 11 January 2008

The Consumption of Mobile Content.. is it any good?

I have observed the usability of mobile handsets for some time and have come to the conclusion that an industry standard of consumer behaviour does not exist and it probably never will...

My schedule of mobile usage on my N95 centres around, in this order 1. Voice. 2 sms. 3 internet browsing . 4 camera. If i added other functions to my daily usage such as playing music or mobile games and watching videos- my battery would pack up halfway through the day.. most days.

That forces me and many others to make choices.

Handset Manufacturer's understand this with specific models majoring on a point of difference. The N95 offers a big screen + great camera. The Sony Walkman... well it’s a music player with great brand heritage... isn't it? Of course the i-phone, does everything... well i can browse the internet... using wi-fi, but not 3g.

So does the handset ownership give us an insight into consumer behaviour? Err no, not really. With the prediction that more people will own a phone that has internet access and actually use it vs. their PC by the end of 2009, this is an important issue.

There are many variables with the consumer such as, pay as you go tariffs, owning a second phone, the use of a PDA, restricted company mobile etc... So when it comes to consumer behaviour on content consumption, I become very concerned.

Does the industry know what the consumer need for content really is?
Does the industry monitor what content is available vs. than what sells?
Do consumers only want to view news, sport music and babes on their phones?
And is anyone remotely surprised or concerned that Tetris is still the best selling mobile game in such a dynamic, fast paced innovative industry?

Even the national press have Sudoku as an alternative to the Crossword!Things change, products evolve, consumers make choices... assuming they are giving the opportunity.

So what is driving the traffic within operator portals?
Sky Sports? yes.
Mobile TV? not really.
Downloads, yes but in decline.
User generated content? possibly but not really through MMS - as you don't get MMS in bundles unlike SMS!

It's great that I can update Facebook, it’s not innovative though. It's a bit yesterday.
eBay on mobile, is poor. Really poor. Can I really snipe at the last minute to get a bargain with any confidence? I don't think so. Do i know the devil in the detail before bidding, no i can't view that.

Not good.

Whilst data charges are still high and the take up of flat rate data is still low, consumer browsing remains low. Therefore... the operator continues to deliver content of the low hanging fruit variety.

This can only lead me to think that the industry doesn't understand the consumer behaviour.
The desire of consumers to create, share and consumer content that is unique, timely or interesting on their mobile...

Or if they did they would educate the consumer via something good. FREE data and FREE MMS packages. Pre loaded useful mobile content. Encourage genuine two way interactions between consumers and content providers.

Now that would be a little bit more compelling than playing Tetris on your phone...

.. surely?


Whatley said...


Just read your stuff via smstextnews.

Nice work.

BadgerGravling said...

I think there is a good reason Tetris rules games on mobile - it's exactly what happened when early handheld consoles appeared.

But I totally agree about the content questions. I find it hard to imagine doing anything with my mobile that I don't already do via my laptop etc, so it's only for those times when I really can't get to a computer, or the computer is turned off.

Which is pretty rare for me....