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CBS Goes Mobile

You’ve got to give them credit for trying: CBS does kind of seem to be getting the new media. For more than a year they’ve been making deals with Google Video, YouTube, and CSTV. in addition to their own streaming channel. And now they’re going mobile.

MediaPost blogs about the new deal to provide popular shows on mobile phones. CBS has signed deals with several providers, including Cingular and Verizon. Their most recent deal, with Sprint, is the first to include preroll ads for their shows and clips.

Aside from the convience of watching the shows that you weren’t going to watch anyway or the evening news whenever you want (what, a week after it airs so it’s already out of date?), what are the advantages of mobile TV? I certainly don’t want to watch TV on a 2″ x 2″ screen while paying by the kilobyte—and that’s even without preroll ads. (Though, like Wendy on MediaPost points out, early adopters will be all over it.)

Desktops, Movies, Mobile and Ninjas!

You know, my Google Reader link blog would be even more useful, if I could add my thoughts to each added item. Instead, I’ll share some interesting news right here!

BTW, two of those news items come courtesy of MP readers. Thanks guys!

Will Mobile Phone Networks Realize Their Future is Tied to Social Networks?

Day one of reading the many feeds submitted by our readers, and I’m already sharing a lot of cool stuff over at my link blog.

Worthy of further consideration is Andrew Girdwood’s suggestion that mobile phone networks should look to embrace social networks as a way to grow their user-base. One of his ideas…

I think a great way phone networks could encourage loyalty from their subscribers is to offer a mobile social networking platform that’s coupled to the network. Leave the network and you’ll also have to leave that mobile social platform behind. Many people pick their networks simply through a social selection process. My friends are on Network X and therefore it makes sense for me to be on Network X.

More Mobile Marketing Opportunities

We’ve been talking a lot about mobile marketing lately. If you’re not sick of the subject yet, eMarketer has some more data on mobile marketing opportunities (as always with eMarketer, free for a limited time only). Yes, I said data. I love . . . well, you know.

Highlights from their data (all emphasis added):

  • 90% say that they are not at all interested in getting ads on their mobile phones, according to Harris Interactive.
  • Right now, mobile is the only interactive medium where the typical user pays for both the cost of network access and the content it delivers. Mobile operators and content providers are finding that besides early adopters and enthusiasts, it is tough to find buyers for paid mobile music downloads, let alone video and games.

Google Tries to Squash Cell Phone Reports

Despite a lot of evidence suggesting Google is working on a rival to the new Apple iPhone, Google executives have stated the company is interested only in developing mobile software, not hardware.

Google’s South-East Asia managing director of sales and operations, Richard Kimber, is quoted as saying “At this point in time, we are very focused on the software, not the phone.”

Of course, we all know that doesn’t completely rule out a Google cell phone. It’s quite possible that Google is working with a cell phone manufacturer (Samsung) to create a Google branded phone, they’re just not working on the actual hardware.

What’s interesting, as always, no flat out denial from anyone at Google.

First Look: Yahoo Hopes to Gain #1 Mobile Search Spot With Expansion

Despite many believing mobile marketing to be a “non starter”, the search engines continue to invest heavily in mobile search. With $11.4 billion expected to be spent on mobile search advertising by 2011, Yahoo is at the top of the list of companies staking their future on the tiny web browser.

Earlier this year, Yahoo launched their mobile oneSearch technology for Yahoo Go and today the number two search engine will announce their expansion of oneSearch. For those of you needing a primer, oneSearch is designed to make searching for and finding information as quick as possible for consumers by providing relevant results right on the page such as news headlines, images, business listings and more as well as easy navigation to other web sites. Effectively, oneSearch anticipates the type of information you are looking for, and does away with the arduous task of navigating ten blue links in a mobile browser (see the “pizza” example, right).

The expansion of oneSearch involves making the service available on more than 85% of cell phones – doing away with the need for your phone to support Java downloads – and helping Yahoo make a stronger challenge for the title of top mobile search provider.

Speaking with Yahoo’s Director of Mobile Web, Lee Ott, it’s clear the company is hoping 2007 is the year that it takes the mobile crown away from Google. “Yahoo intends to be #1 in mobile search,” says Ott – mobile research firm M:Metrics has Yahoo in the number two slot for mobile search, behind Google, for December 2006. In fact, Ott believes “2007 will be the tipping point for mobile search.” A bold claim, which I’m sure we’ve heard every year for the past three years.

With such confidence in the prospects for mobile search in 2007, it’s no wonder Yahoo is building search advertising and display advertising into oneSearch. “oneSearch has monetization built-in from inception,” confirms Ott, adding that the service will be Yahoo’s “monetization engine for the mobile web.”

Yahoo oneSearch for the Mobile Web rolls out today for the U.S. and additional country and language versions over the coming months. For more details, visit http://mobile.yahoo.com/mobileweb/onesearch

Starting “Non-Starter”: Mobile Marketing

Surprise, surprise: mobile marketing is labeled “a non-starter” by Brady Gilchrist on iMedia Connection last week. I can’t disagree. For all the hype surrounding mobile marketing, there are few truly viable mobile marketing models. Brady cites the “SMS to win” and e-coupons models, but states “There is really nothing out there that has wowed consumers, just yet.”

But, he points out, there’s hope. Rather than being all doom-and-gloom about how mobile marketing has still failed to effectively materialize (like I am), Brady develops six different mobile advertising models, most of them based on future technology capabilities. His list:

  1. Instant information: “Expect that the first major retail use of mobile internet . . . will be comparative shopping. . . . Widgets, such as reminder lists, traffic cams, weather forecasts and a million other useful bits and pieces, are all sponsorable and brandable opportunities.”