Telecommunications, Automotive and Market Research

More than 15 years in the mobile telecommunications industry and an industry analyst since 1998.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Soap Operas? Yes, I think so. NBC Launches Mobile TV Channel with Unilever

If you remember your broadcasting history, the term "soap opera" came about because soap manufacturers produced the dramas that aired on the radio during the day... the time that housewives -- the target demographic -- were home listening to the programs and the soap commercials.

In that grand old tradition, NBC and Unilever are setting up a one-year mobile video "channel" called "Dove Good2Go. Accessible by cellphone, the channel will provide clips from 30 Rock, America's Got Talent, Friday Night Lights, Parks and Recreation, and the traditional soap opera, Days of our Lives.

Does history repeat itself?  In this case, if you point your mobile phone browser to you will be stepping back to the 1920s, just like the radio listeners of yesteryear.

The most important thing about this is that it is clear that the brand-name companies such as Unilever, are jumping on board the TV bandwagon, just the same as the soap companies did years ago.

It has always been my contention that mobile TV would take off when its business model matched the one that has been working quite well for the past 70 years or so. It's tough to make it work when you demand consumers pay for individual programs or spend a high percentage of their monthly bill on limited program options.  However, when you offer ad-supported content at no charge to the audience, things will start to take off.

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