Monday, November 13, 2006

Respond Mobile launches made-for-mobile TV platform

We all know that, like it or not, online adult "erotic" content and services led to a lot of innovation and take-up of web services more generally. The same, it seems to me, is happening in mobile too. I think it's safe to say that men are more likely to upgrade their handsets and contracts to get adult mobile TV than women would for a QVC mobile shopping style channel or even a reality TV channel. We're just not *that* bothered to upgrade on the whole.

The good thing about adult mobile TV s is that it will accelerate acceptance and use of mobile TV across the board as the handsets and services will be out there which will help the industry as a whole. And let's face it, BT has been making its money for years from adult chatline services to it's a bit late to be anti this now. Like it or not, sex sells.

So as part of this mobile TV innovation, the team at Respond Mobile has launched the world's first dedicated multi-channel mobile TV delivery platform, Rhythm TV. The launch stations include 100% Babes and XXX TV, magazine style Candy Lounge, erotic dancing at Rhythm TV with other big names to be announced soon.

The Rhythm TV service includes some unique features suited to adult mobile TV such as fast forward, rewind and pause. Rhythm TV also allows viewers to restart the channel they were watching at the same place next time they view. The service also plays out in landscape mode on high end phones therefore utilising the full screen area giving and enhanced mobile TV experience. I think these features will be required on *any* mobile TV service, and not just adult.

As I'm not a mobile TV viewer (yet although I don't think it will be long before I am), I don't know how this functionality compares with the likes of Rok, Virgin Lobster, Sky or Vodafone. So if you *do* know, then please feel free to comment.

Mobile TV has great potential because you're not asking the customer to change their fundamental behaviour. If there's a button on the phone that says 'TV' and you press it and you can watch TV, then it's a whole lot easier than browsing wap, uploading/downloading applications, setting up shared messaging services and backing up your data. It's a very simple proposition which we all know and understand. I think it's just a question of timing and we always overestimate the change that will happen in 2 years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10 (with thanks to Bill Gates for the quote).

Update Tues 14 November 2006:
Nokia's just released a report on Mobile TV and its impact on consumers and advertisers which I've written about here.

Update Mon 20 November 2006: Good discussion on the impact of x-series on Mobile TV here.