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Today's Top Stories
1. Report: Facebook mobile platform will circumvent Apple's App Store
2. Legislation mandates companies get consent before sharing location data
3. Yahoo tackles app store overload with free discovery solution
4. Zynga unveils multi-language 'CityVille Hometown'
5. YuMe scoops up mobile video ad network Appealing Media

Editor's Corner: How mobile is changing the way Americans watch TV

Also Noted: Spotlight On... AT&T launches Mobile Barcode Services package
Aylus Networks closes $16 million round; LG launches Green Lantern mobile campaign and much more...

Ringback tones a failure in the United States - but why?
RBTs - girl listening to music on phoneJust a few years ago, analysts were predicting that ringback tones would take over the mobile music market. Ringtones had been selling successfully, so why shouldn't ringback tones--essentially reverse-ringtones, where a song or sound clip is heard by the caller rather than the receiver--achieve the same level of success? Ringbacks never entertained the same level of success as ringtones in the U.S. as analysts predicted, though they are extremely popular in Asia and parts of Africa. Will ringbacks progressively become more popular in the U.S., as with many other Asian technological trends? Or will they simply bypass North America altogether? Feature

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Editor's Corner

How mobile is changing the way Americans watch TV

By Jason Ankeny Comment | Forward | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Americans are watching more television at home than ever before according to the newest Nielsen viewer data--almost 159 hours per month, or 22 more minutes per person a month than last year. And really, who could blame us? Think of all the exceptional series currently in production: Mad Men, Eastbound and Down, Breaking Bad, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Parks and Recreation, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Justified, Treme, Sons of Anarchy, Community... the list goes on and on. Add to that everything from live sports to award-winning documentary programming, and in terms of sheer quality, television has never been better. (Try saying that about contemporary Hollywood films or pop music.)

Television's current golden era corresponds with a wave of new digital devices and technologies giving users exponentially greater control over how, where and when they consume their favorite shows. Even so, home viewing continues to dwarf mobile and web video, Nielsen notes: Based on total users of each media platform, Americans spend about 25.5 hours each month watching video content online and 4 hours, 20 minutes screening mobile video--a fraction of the time they spend on their couches, glued to high-definition TV screens the size of compact cars. But mobile video viewing is growing by leaps and bounds: As recently as the first quarter of 2010, subscribers who consumed video on their mobile phones averaged just 3 hours, 37 minutes per month. Moreover, the number of U.S. consumers accessing mobile video in the first quarter of 2011 topped 28,500--a 41 percent year-over-year increase and up 100 percent since 2009.

There are multiple factors that explain the surging growth of mobile video, like increasing smartphone penetration, improved devices, more robust operator networks and device-optimized apps like Hulu Plus, WatchESPN and HBO Go. But with so many different kinds of compelling experiences vying for wireless subscribers' time and attention, you also can't discount the fundamental appeal of the video content available across the mobile platform--now more than ever, there's an abundance of good stuff to watch, and users are forgoing games, social networking and other apps to take it all in. Long derided as a vast cultural wasteland, TV is now the premier narrative format of the era: The most engrossing and groundbreaking stories unfold each week on broadcast and cable networks. Perhaps the only way you can see everything you want to see is to offload some shows from the TV to your phone, playing catch up while on a train, on a bus or sitting in the doctor's waiting room.

Mobile video may never surpass home television viewing as the format of choice. There's no question that the cinematic scope and nuance of programs like Mad Men suffer as screen sizes diminish. But in an age where keeping up with television is basically a full-time job--a particularly problematic proposition if you have an actual full-time job--then mobile video is more than a viable alternative. It's a no-brainer. And for a growing segment of TV junkies, it's becoming as essential as remote controls and DVRs.--Jason



future_president said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
future_president said...

First, the person who pays for the service does not really benefit from it. Crucial point in a egocentric society, I guess.
There is another part to ringback tones though and that is the implementation of Ring Back Advertising as part of a mobile marketing campaign. And that will play an important role in the future.

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