Wednesday, 17 February 2010

MWC - mobile first, content...well, not quite sure

The annual mobile-fest, Mobile World Congress, is underway in Barcelona where, on the third day, the sun has finally come out lifting the spirits of the several tens of thousands of visitors.

There´s a clear message emanating from here: mobile is the future. And that means the device in everyone´s pocket is definitely going to become even more important. However, there´s increasing pressure on mobile bandwidth as more smartphones come into use globally - here in Barcelona trying to browse the web or download a new app on my BlackBerry can take a very long time. I´m not convinced that users will stand for the sort of delays I have been experiencing.

So, while Google´s Eric Schmidt makes a definitive statement that for Google, it´s "mobile first", there is still an immense amount of work to be done to bring the mobile web to users globally. And as for quality content, there are ever more challenges for broadcasters. A different app is needed for every phone brand at the moment and while the intention to have a single app platform across all makes is a great idea, I wonder when it will become reality.

That means that few content owners are actively promoting their offers to mobile operators here, despite the fact that almost every mobile operator in the world attends this event. AIB member Deutsche Welle is here, on the NRW stand in hall 1, while France 24 is on Mobiclip in hall 2. Other content providers include Rotana, up in hall 7 (which is app world, so I´m not quite sure why they are there), and the BBC has a team of several/lots of people walking the stands...I´ve counted four or five people already from the BBC.

AIB will be analysing what we are learning here for our members in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

AIB up in lights at MWC - well, on flags, actually!

AIB gets great mentions at the entrance to hall 2 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year.

Our award to France 24 in the 2009 AIBs is celebrated on around 48 banners lining the walkway into hall 2, encouraging visitors to go to the Mobiclip stand.

Thanks, Mobiclip - doubtless you will be supporting the 2010 AIBs...

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Is digital the way forward for trade magazines?

AIB has just published the first edition of 2010 of its international media magazine, The Channel.
We're committed to printing copies of the magazine for our subscribers around the world, as well as for distribution at media events we go to around the world.
However, we've been experimenting with digital, page-turning editions and have now employed a new set of software to enable us to publish all our publications online and to offer our 25,000-plus contacts around the world a copy of The Channel - and other AIB publications - on their PCs.
I don't believe that digital initiatives like this mean the end of printing presses or physical copies. Personally, I do prefer leafing through a printed magazine at my leisure (or at my desk) than reading on the screen. Perhaps I'm old-fashioned - but my 14 year-old son also likes picking up and reading printed editions of magazines...
What the new digital publishing means for AIB and its members is that more people have access to our work, and that more people are therefore reading about the activities of our members. We included links to two of our members in the e-mail promoting the magazine as we thought the stories about them were worth highlighting. They've received hundreds of click-throughs, demonstrating that people want the ability to get more context around a story. This is something that cross-media production can really offer to everyone - whether they are in the trade or consumer sectors - and it's something we're encouraging our members to do as well.
Gone are the days of single platform content - and AIB is pleased to have moved into this new multiplatform arena.