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IBC Daily Sunday 10 September 2006

Conference Analysis: New forms of interaction

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Creasey: 'We have a long way to go' to understanding this new space


The debate about made-for-mobile content ratcheted up a notch when the BBC's head of TV research, Stella Creasey, admitted in the keynote session of yesterday's 'Media on the Move' day that bespoke mobisodes of the hit series Dr Who - called Tardisodes - only attracted 40,000 mobile downloads during the 13 weeks the series was on air.
"Even though Dr Who is one of our biggest brands and the Tardisodes were free and heavily cross-promoted they only got an average of 3,000 downloads per episode and that's not many," said Creasey. "It seems we have a long way to go to understanding this new space."
However, Mark Selby, Nokia's VP of multimedia, countered that there is a real appetite for all kinds of content. "Just look at the growth of YouTube on the net and you will see how all this is going. People are uploading videos to YouTube from their mobiles," said Selby. Nokia research across five countries and 5,500 people between the age of 18 and 31 found that 44% use their mobile phone as their primary camera. "Simulcast is just scratching the surface. The new forms of interaction will come down to the creativity of the media industry."
Selby believes any face-off between the telecoms players and broadcasters over control of this new space is unwarranted. "We are looking for cooperation and building on the strengths of each other. I don't see the creative bit coming from the telecoms industry," he said.
The BBC Tardisodes - named after the time machine on the series - garnered a much bigger audience online where 2.6 million were downloaded, a fact that Creasey attributed to greater speed and lower costs for downloading to a PC. "Our research so far from all the trials we have participated in is that the majority of mobile viewing is live and not on demand," said Creasey.

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