Live from nextMEDIA 2008: How to Build a Viable Mobile Business in 2008

This panel session focuses on ways to incorporate mobile into your digital media strategy. The panel members include: Vincent John Vincent from GestureTek, Mark Ruddock from Viigo, Kay Gruenwoldt from Nokia North America, and Paul Burns from Sympatico MSN. The moderator is Marina Mann.

Mark Ruddock announced that Viigo has just signed a deal with the CFL. Starting this season, fans will be able to view real-time stats, purchase tickets, and much more all using their mobile phones thanks to Viigo’s technology.

Some notes from this session:

  • MR: Our philosophy at Viigo is to test and refine, test and refine. We want to see what works.
  • MR: Any company that is looking to be successful in mobile needs to look beyond Canadian borders. We are world class. Also note that the fastest growing markets are not the US or other developed nations.
  • KG: Mobile games generate about $4 billion per year, so it’s a fairly established industry already.
  • KG: There are still hurdles that need to be overcome, such as data rates.
  • PB: We’ll see both free and premium content co-exist. Users expect to get some content free.
  • MR: The younger you are, the less willing you are to pay for things, and the more willing you are to share your data and accept targeted advertising. However, there will always be people who are willing to pay. So maybe consumers will have a choice.
  • MR: Advertising is considered a low-value-add. What if we could change that?

On social networking and social media:

  • KG: The Internet is already on mobile devices, but we’re starting to see the interfaces being tailored to them. This is what needs to happen for it to take off.
  • MR: Facebook is not where the puck is going at all. Your contact list is going to infiltrate all kinds of applications.
  • VJV: The real interesting things are happening in other places, like in Japan, where social networking and geolocation are combined very well.

Questions from the audience:

  • How much is language a factor? KG – Localization is huge, it’s an absolute must.
  • In five years, is the Internet the platform for mobile? PB – We believe the web is the platform. MR – There is something about applications that deliver a better experience than the browser, and that isn’t going to go away anytime soon. The best mobile platform in the world today is the iPhone.

Lots of really great discussion in this panel, mobile is definitely a hot topic among nextMEDIA attendees.