Computer & Internet

M-Commerce Market on the Move, Part 1

As extra telephones and different small-form handheld units get “smarter,” so does the potential for individuals to make use of them extra typically, and for a lot of various and totally different functions. The variety of cellular cellphone subscribers worldwide surpassed 1 billion in 2006, and technological innovation continues apace as time to marketplace for new merchandise continues to shrink.

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Telecom suppliers proceed in search of methods so as to add premium information and value-added services to their networks.

Dash-Nextel is shifting ahead with constructing the first nationwide WiMax broadband wi-fi community and the is on monitor to ratify its 802.11n broadband wi-fi networking requirements in January 2008.

Apple and Intel, amongst others, have already introduced that 802.11n gear will probably be included into their 2007 product strains.

Pink Sizzling Expertise

All these technological advances are additional heating up the cellular telecoms and multimedia origination and distribution markets. Small-form OS, utility software program, reminiscence and storage requirements enhancements proceed to return from corporations similar to Adobe, Opera, Research In Motion and Symbian.

As with mild and warmth, they’re attracting an even bigger and broader cross-section of media, Web expertise and telecoms corporations to the house — more and more highly effective cellular handsets and units come outfitted with Web entry, GPS, digital cameras, streaming audio and video, and different capabilities.

The cellular leisure market is opening extensive whereas, at the identical time, it provides artists extra avenues to achieve their audiences immediately.

Cellular Music and Leisure

On this more and more aggressive atmosphere, cellular telecom suppliers should change the manner they do enterprise and solid a wider internet of their seek for value-added information and multimedia services.

Leisure was the content material of alternative in the early days of tv, and so it’s immediately in the cellular telecoms and cellular, or m-commerce, house.

, in its “Cellular Leisure Markets: Alternatives & Forecasts, 2006-2011” report, estimates that the international marketplace for cellular leisure services totaled US$17.3 billion in 2006 and can develop at a 35 p.c cumulative annual progress price, reaching $47 billion in 2009 and $76.9 billion in 2011.

Whereas cellular music and infotainment — largely ringtones and wallpapers — account for the largest portion of the cellular leisure market immediately, Juniper senior advisor and report creator Bruce Gibson forecasts that cellular TV will probably be the quickest rising product sector.

Cellular playing, regardless of the current crackdown in the United States, will probably be one other fast-growing market phase, as will cellular gaming, notably in the informal gamer area of interest.

Embracing Digital Expertise

Grammy nominated jazz trumpeter, composer and budding Web music entrepreneur Dave Douglas’ current Webcast and digital recording of a six-night, twelve-set efficiency at New York Metropolis’s Jazz Customary is indicative of the new methods artists are advertising and marketing and promoting their music utilizing new digital distribution applied sciences.

When requested what prompted him to go unbiased and embrace digital expertise, Douglas informed the E-Commerce Occasions, “Fairly truthfully, I bought uninterested in having to attend round for another person’s choice about what I may or couldn’t do. And I feel that the modifications in expertise have made that course of out of date.

“All the things is altering, and whereas after all there are nonetheless remnants of the previous system in place, the relationship of artists to listeners is now nearer than ever — I can attain a big viewers immediately. And it is simply getting began. As a music artist, it’s extremely thrilling to be part of that wave,” he added.

The Subsequent Wave

The Impartial On-line Distribution Alliance (IODA) is a number one unbiased digital music distributor and developer of digital distribution expertise. Representing and distributing musical content material for greater than 3,500 labels and with greater than 700,000 tracks in its catalog, “We’re kind of a ‘fifth main,'” Tim Mitchell, IODA’s vice-president of promoting, informed the E-Commerce Occasions.

Mitchell recounted how IODA began out in the cellular music market and the way it has modified since.

“Once we bought began in the cellular market about two years in the past, the focus was most actually on ring tones, and primarily the ‘monophonic’ and ‘polyphonic’ varieties. … ‘True tones,’ or ‘grasp tones,’ had been simply beginning out, and definitely, the very prime of the Billboard charts was all that was actually promoting,” he mentioned.

“There have been a handful of corporations that managed entry to the ‘provider decks,’ or normal menus on telephones the place the majority of those tracks had been bought,” Mitchell continued. “These center males are all the time known as ‘aggregators,’ however they’re much totally different corporations than IODA. They don’t actually symbolize the labels in a deep partnership like we do, they usually actually do not symbolize the labels to retailers like iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody or any on-line retailer.

“If something, they’re extra like distributors to the carriers, and for a very long time we considered them as obstacles or gatekeepers that merely added a further layer — whereas additionally taking a major reduce of the income.

“Our skill to work extra intently with these companions on a advertising and marketing stage — and in addition to go round them once we see match — has been an enormous change that has helped us and our labels tremendously in the final 12 months. The enterprise is maturing now, and firms like us are focusing on content material whereas corporations who wish to service the provider are focusing on platforms and software program.

“We expect that it is a optimistic development, and once we work with carriers immediately, our labels and the music is healthier represented, and we additionally make our platform companions completely satisfied as a result of we will combine with them on the expertise stage effectively and hold their prices down.”

With IODA’s technological and business success permitting it to develop, Mitchell and IODA see its larger dimension as an asset. “That has created numerous alternatives. We now have the expertise and advertising and marketing focus that the carriers are in search of, as they’re typically under-resourced and look to us for concepts and ‘the subsequent huge factor,'” mentioned Mitchell.

The Huge Apple

Apple made an enormous splash at the newest MacWorld Expo with the introduction of its iPhone, combining cellular voice communications and Web information providers with the iPod and iTunes digital music expertise.

Not making as a lot of a splash, however important nonetheless, was Apple’s introduction of Apple iTV, its streaming Web TV and video software program and repair, notably given the meteoric rise of social networking and the potential for it to go cellular.

Taken collectively, the new product introductions will lead Apple and different PC software program trade leaders, together with Microsoft, to supply each mounted and wi-fi voice and information community providers, in addition to content material throughout voice, information and multimedia channels.

“It is a pure transfer for Apple and one which’s been broadly anticipated for a very long time. … They’ve introduced collectively digital music, cellular telephony and computing, and packaged them in a single handheld system,” Myk Willis, CTO and co-founder of mVisible Applied sciences, informed the E-Commerce Occasions.

“Cellular operators are attempting to be content material suppliers however there are such a lot of different extra environment friendly and efficient gamers in the Web house. There’s nothing groundbreaking [in the iPhone] and there are different units on the market that do the identical factor. Apple has mixed and utilized its design and styling capabilities to its computing expertise and can profit from the cult of Apple — their loyal person base — which is admittedly going to assist,” Willis famous.

That mentioned, Willis believes that Apple must change a few of its methods if it is dedicated in its present strategic path. “I like them as a model and I feel they’ve a wonderful understanding of human-technology interplay — what individuals need and want from expertise,” he mentioned. “However Apple’s a really proprietary firm. They’ve benefited and used the underdog standing and picture exceedingly effectively, however there is a onerous restrict and solely so lengthy till they play that out.”

An Necessary 12 months

“The variety of digital music-enabled cell phones bought every month eclipses the complete person base of iPods,” Willis identified, including, “There’s been numerous focus on TV and streaming video to cellular units, however 2006 was an vital 12 months by way of the skill to distribute digital music content material to cellular units through telecoms networks.

“We’re fascinated by seeing DRM (digital rights administration) disappear, and we’re fascinated by system producers promoting unlocked — and due to this fact not crippled — telephones direct to customers, and we’re fascinated by reasonable billing choices rising for cellular content material,” through which the provider does not take 50 p.c of all transaction income, he mentioned.

“I would add that that is one space through which Apple is actually not innovating with the iPhone. Apple’s control-freak tendencies line up fairly effectively with the historical past of the cellular trade,” Willis claimed, including that Apple will ship a cellular system in a locked working atmosphere, tied artificially to a single cellular operator, which isn’t going to encourage different distributors to develop add-on services or products.

The previous Cingular Wi-fi, now a part of AT&T, is not placing all its doable digital music eggs in a single basket, nonetheless. It additionally has distribution agreements with Yahoo, Napster and eMusic. Subscribers pay about $10 to $15 a month to obtain limitless music to their telephones.
M-Commerce Market on the Move, Part 1

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