Thursday, June 19, 2008

The fourth screen, utilitainment and Murdoch on mobile

Today I got some great insights into mobile marketing opportunities by some leading experts. This is the new frontier in media, the Fourth Screen. Its mind boggling to consider over 3 billion people are mobile enabled, double the penetration of most other media devices in home. Research shows that most people keep their mobile phone within 1 meter of themselves over a 24 hour period (sleep time included) which is more pervasive than any other media and amazingly 17% of people actually answer their phones while having sex! Mobile is all about utilitainment – Utility + entertainment. Despite the scale of what is out there for marketers to consider, there were very few of them in the room. In fact, there are few marketers in Cannes period, especially from SA – you can count them on your hands. Most of the people at Cannes are advertising people. Now imagine that this media channel has massive penetration in the market, yet the lecture hall was only 50% full. Earlier on I went to watch the New Directors Show real (TV) and I queued for 30 minutes to get in and then there were people squatting on the floor because there wasn’t enough space. It shows you where the priorities are and it also is a message to marketers that they need to get to grips with the Fourth Screen, because their conventional agencies sure don’t seem to think it’s that important. And you wont get away with just plonking your above the line stuff onto mobile media either! Well the mobile and digital theme was echoed later this afternoon by a media legend Rupert Murdoch. Complete with bodyguards he sat in the lecture theater in his casual French Riviera inspired attire and reminded us of the opportunities out there for everyone in a technology driven world. Despite a possible looming world recession NewsCorp is upbeat about the amazing opportunities technology is activating, His view was supported by NewsCorp’s CEO Peter Chernin who was the push button behind the Titanic movie. He joked about running $ 100 million over budget, because they had to make the best movie possible – let alone the fact no one had ever made a movie for $ 100 million. And it paid off in becoming the highest grossing movie ever. So the older Rupert and younger Peter told us that in buying the ailing Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones Company), they have not just bought a company with huge financial pedigree in journalism and information BUT over 50% of its revenue comes from digital. Murdoch has often referred to himself as a digital immigrant, but there is no question that despite this status, he understands its relevance to his group’s growth. With millions of people moving out of poverty into the economy particularly in countries like India and China, the future is a great place for consumerism and media. He reckons mobile is really where there will be a major play and they are already moving in this space (excuse the pun). Of course they waxed lyrical about MySpace and how much bigger it is than FaceBook and also that Microsoft will throw whatever money they can to get into the digital race now that their attempt to buy Yahoo has failed. Yahoo has the largest uniques in the world they just have to get their monetisation sorted. Who will tip Google off its search perch? Well it will be someone who invents a new digital technology and probably from his/her garage. And what’s his advice on new technology and change. It actually really simple “Be paranoiac about your competitors and don’t stop pushing your brand.”


Colin Daniels said...

You've got to hand it to old man Murdoch. He's lived through virtually every mass medium and has adapted to make money out of all of them!!!

gisele wa said...

And the important lesson to learn from him, is that he never stops learning!