Mobile technology has grown tremendously over the past decade with devices becoming smarter and faster and the supporting technologies improving by the day. With increased capabilities of mobile phone handsets, there is growing demand for content that can be downloaded or streamed.
The growth in this demand and the availability of the supporting technology such as 3G, opens up huge opportunities for the local film industry.
The local film industry can explore the potential of mobile devices as an outlet for content consumption and discovery. The modern lifestyle is one lived on the go, and to fully leverage this, the industry can create “bite sized” pieces of content that mobile subscribers can consume on their mobile devices – mobisodes.
The State of the Mobile Web report by Opera indicates that the majority of users in Kenya getting online from their mobile phones are searching for infotainment content. From the report, it is clear that there is a glaring lack of local content in as much as content consumption on the mobile has grown by 278 percent. Majority of mobile subscribers patronize foreign content and by viral content sharing tools tell their circle of influence about it, resulting to more visits and higher revenue where the content is billed.
Mobile network operators have set up portals that can also be used for the distribution of this content. Why the film industry needs to engage with the operators of the handful of mobile content aggregation companies, is that the relationship is symbiotic.
For the mobile operator this increases their revenue per user as the mobile data channel is used and they are able to offer compelling content propositions to their subscribers.
For the content producer, a new revenue stream is created with a number business models that can be adapted. There is an additional upside to mobile distribution for the content producer when it comes to piracy. Digital rights management can be applied to the content to make it that much harder to share it adhoc, essentially creating a funnel of users for content subscription.
What the film industry needs to know however is that one size does not fit all and going mobile is not just a matter of changing your content format. It will take creativity and differentiated thinking to create compelling content that can hook the mobile consumer and perhaps get them to subscribe to your mobile channel.
With syndication opportunities available from mobile network operators coupled with the consumers hunger for mobile entertainment, this should be an exciting time for local film producers.