This week’s MobileBeat 2010 conference, which notably did not draw any attendees from Apple, served as a great showcase for the best of the rest. While the theme of the conference revolved around the “Superphone”, most of the presentations focused on apps and digital interactivity that will exist everywhere.
“We’re smiling a lot,” said Jason Spero, a director at Google (GOOG), who arrived to the company via its AdMob acquisition. “There are a lot of toys that are enabling developers to write apps that are usable in a number of places. An investment in Android will travel with you, whether in your TV, your car (or other places).”
Always on, and interactive
As interactivity bleeds into form factors behind the phone, TV and tablet, developers and major media companies are configuring content that will be consumed differently depending on the device.
“With cars, you have to make sure that drivers don’t risk their lives while they are accessing your content,” explained Ian Geller with Pandora. Geller added that mobile media completely transformed Pandora as a company, who’s mission today is “to be available anytime and anywhere to all users.”
For Fox Digital, a unit of News Corp. (NWSA), the mobile space is a place for the company to experiment with providing content to consumers wherever they might be (and not worry, for now, about a revenue return).
“I’m less worried about the direct revenue today than how we use the technology to create and extend the relationship with our users,” said Gregg Colvin, Fox Digital Media Vice President of Business Development, adding that “advertising support may or may not work with long-form or even short-form video content.”
Ultimately, as Google’s Spero noted, revenue in the mobile space “will be more about how the user is using (technology) and less about the technology itself.”
Different applications will be built and suited for different contexts. As consumers embrace these new interactive opportunities, major media companies and upstart developers alike will find ways to monetize them.