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Smartphones to become the major driver of content consumption

Posted on: 26 September '11
Anand Rao
Business Consultant
Anand.Rao@mindtree.com

On your way home after a frenzied day at work? Wanting to catch that crucial sports fixture with your friends? Almost certainly, you are anxiously waiting for the bus to show up, or if you are driving, then imaginably you are getting utterly impatient over the chaotic rush-hour traffic to clear up. Chances are that either the bus is overly crowded and you wait your turn for the next one, or you are cursing the chaotic traffic. In either case, you will end up missing your game and as well missing those exciting moments of watching a live game with your group. Now picture this scenario: you are a proud owner of a smartphone, with super cool – as our urban networks would state it, 4G services. You peg onto your internet connection and connect to your favorite sports channel. Voila – Game on! Hang on – while some innovative and technologically leading markets have already ventured into the 4G space, the Indian market has not yet fully developed and explored the capabilities of 3G services at the time this thought direction was posted. And not to forget the backlog of all scam clearances which are still making rounds (Presuming the scam would form a massive blog of its own and one which would tread to a controversial la-la land).

Smartphones

Smartphones

The point is that, today, the media content viewing habits of consumers have shifted considerably. Content viewing is experiencing a major change and the marketability of content today is done in ways to create a new value proposition and to differentiate content offerings in the market. In what seems to be an inevitable trend, the media content (movies, music, news, publishing, live concerts etc.) is opening up to the web interfaces, which are in turn opening up to smart phones. The likes of iPhones, Blackberry and Android based phones have not only transformed the mobile industry but have also transformed the way CPG, retail, media, telecom and banking industries operate by moving beyond voice offerings to thousands of apps and services that were a distant dream a decade ago. The rapidly changing consumption patterns in mobile space has already created an expectation of a billion smartphones to be sold by 2013, accounting to nearly 50% of new phones sold in North America and Europe(courtesy: Gartner). Google, Apple, Research in Motion and Microsoft are some of the global phenomena with a hell lot of eyeballs, more than anyone else in this market. They form the perfect example of innovative firms creating products that are involved in merging TV, internet and smartphones into a single screen user experience. With just a click of a button, you can seamlessly search for your media contents, easily switch between TV and web on your smartphone without actually having to change any input channels and access a vast catalogue of contents.

So, what makes good digital content a great content? What gives the consumers the incentive to reach out to their television set, web or smartphone each time? The key to understand this here would be to appreciate how companies can unlock these underlying paradigms to come up with compelling strategies to compete with vast content libraries, compelling on-demand value added services and the relatively low pricing offers. The underlying drivers behind these opportunities are the network transformation and other market opportunities like OS-based smartphones (Android); exploring the diversity in communications (p2p, smart grids etc.); trend towards flatter networks; embedding consumer focused services (analytics, rich media content, security, e-commerce, etc.) and digging into new monetization methods. Since the way we are absorbing media content today is developing, sooner or later companies will have to adapt their strategic positioning to strengthen their brand image and attractiveness to consumers. One undeniably flawless element is that if this trend continues, which it is guaranteed to, then mobile phones might just become the ultimate all-in-one device for media consumption, voice, banking and beyond that one would want to carry at all times. Is your business already ahead in this game changing strategy? If your answer is No, then start analyzing your segments to build innovative and interactive capabilities with your consumers.