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June 23, 2010

Mobile media finding its style

Tero_5LONDON, England – Tero Ojanpera, Executive Vice President of Services, Nokia, delivered a keynote address at the MEM 2010 conference in London this morning, describing the ways that mobile entertainment is set to expand and evolve over the next few years. He described this moment as being a crucial opportunity for developers, brands and publishers in what is still a very new and changing media space. Read on to find out more about Nokia’s vision for mobile media.

Ojanpera stressed that mobile entertainment is still very young. Ten years ago, interactive mobile entertainment meant singing along to CDs in the back of the car. The World Cup tournament marks how far and how quickly this has changed. At the last World Cup in 2006, practically nobody experienced the matches using mobile media. This time around, according to Nielsen research, 21 per cent are planning to keep up with games using their phones.

Currently, 450 million people access the Internet using a mobile – but that number is predicted to reach one billion by 2013. A sixth of the world’s population. Basically, almost all the predicted growth in internet use worldwide will come via mobile screens.

At the same time, the technology is getting smarter, so that the richness and usefulness of that experience is increasing at a similar rate, Ojanpera suggested. Before long, “your phone will track the location of your friends, your schedule, your social graph, what you were just doing before, and what you are expected or want to do in the near future.”

Just as it took time for television to understand what made its medium unique, and for the web to move beyond static pages to rich interactions, so it has taken and will take time for mobile media to come of age.

Location or Integration?

Right now, Location-Based-Services and Status Updates are all the rage: Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook. But at present, we’re still at the ‘so what?’ stage with these services in many respects, said Ojanpera. But these types of application actually represent enormous opportunities for entertainment and retail brands to be more useful to customers. Take McDonald’s. They’ve recently launched a service with Ovi Maps to send coupons to people near their restaurants. It’s a move from interruptive advertising to authentic connections that strive to offer value to people like you and I.

This is part of a wider move to greater personalisation and more intelligent devices that adapt to our tastes and usage, said Ojanpera. “I quite like AC/DC. From that, my device might assume that I would also enjoy racing games and offer me other types of content it thinks I might like.”

This intelligent blending of different types of media and interactions marks the start of a new stage in mobile entertainment. Nokia’s recently launched ARG Conspiracy For Good, for example, combines traditional storytelling craftsmanship with a whole range of different delivery techniques. Some of these are more traditional, like blog posts and YouTube videos, while others are far more interactive such as puzzles, the use of Ovi Maps and Augmented Reality applications which leave parts of the narrative on real-life landmarks. “How many more ways can we create new experiences like this?” asked Ojanpera. “How many more ways are there to use mobile devices to make change in the real world? How creative can we be in using this model to think about our businesses differently?”

The wrap

Ojanpera anticipates a move away from siloed apps that each do one thing to a future that is about “connected and integrated services that all work together to know you better and give you more of what you want from collective knowledge.”

Closing his speech, Ojanpera said that his vision of the future of mobile entertainment lies in three main areas:

One – That the future is beyond stand-alone apps
Two – Connecting with consumers is all about localization, relevance and personalization
And three – Open platforms and ecosystems like Ovi with global reach will help entertainment brands to grow and build new audiences

So what do you think? Are mobile apps just a stage in the journey towards a more complex and integrated mobile future? How could your phone serve you better if it knew more about you?