Mobile TV CXO Summit Concludes

Mobile TV CXO Summit, jointly organised by the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) and the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) was held in Hong Kong on December 3rd.

The highly interactive Summit successfully connected 40 senior content owners, mobile communications carriers and service providers in an informal and innovative environment allowing participants to brainstorm on how best to nurture the growth of mobile TV in Asia.

Participants included Sony Pictures Television International, STAR Group, Turner International, Bloomberg Television, Discovery Networks, Granada International and Walt Disney Television. Regional and international mobile network service providers and technology specialists such as SwissCom Mobile, Telia Sonera, MediaQuest, PCCW, StarHub, Smartone, Hutchinson Telecom, CSL and 3 Hong Kong, along with Nokia, Qualcomm, Irdeto, NagraVision, NDS, Speedcast, ITSun, Dada Asia, IMG, MIH and PricewaterhouseCoopers were also among the Summit participants.

According to a summary of the series of meetings in groups of 10 during the day, “ultimately mobile TV could be a huge revenue source for network operators, TV content owners, technology services providers and advertising agencies.

“Nevertheless, the jury is still out. There are many issues that still need to be addressed before getting a clear direction on the future development of mobile TV in Asia.”

The event opened with an introductory presentation based on a report for CASBAA Members by consultant Mike Walsh, which highlights “Ten essential items for a successful Mobile TV platform in Asia”. This was followed by four tightly moderated roundtable sessions during which three topics were debated: The mobile TV business model; Content creation & management and Marketing & monetizing mobile TV.

During the Summit, it was widely agreed that two major challenges remain before securing mass consumer adoption of mobile TV services: “User experience and Content”.

According to the summary: “Although the capability to deliver content is there, user experience is very much dependent on technology being able to provide better networks with higher video quality and resolution; better devices with larger screens; longer battery life and affordable handsets across a widely varying Asian landscape.”

Content is the other critical factor and much debate took place as to what genre of content will work in Asia. Some saw News and Sports as driver genres, while others claimed that experience shows that “entertainment drives as much as 80% of take up.”

Content localisation is also a key factor as content preferences differ from market to market and is “very much driven by consumer lifestyles”. Thus, a well thought out and highly targeted marketing plan is central to launching mobile TV services successfully.

“We believe we achieved the objective of the Mobile TV CXO Summit, which was to provide a high octane, low burn interactive platform for industry players. However, it remains clear that network operators and content providers have yet to agree on what kind of business model works,” said Simon Twiston Davies, CEO of CASBAA.

The Mobile TV CXO Summit was organised by CASBAA and the MEF to engender the much-needed conversations necessary for the growth of mobile TV in Asia.

“We have made a start. That’s all. There is much work to be done,” said Twiston Davies.

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