NTV Predictions: Mobile Video

Among the questions we’ve asked our panel of experts was this one: Will mobile video still suck in 2008?

Selections from their responses are below. We’d love to hear your take on the question or on our panelists’ predictions in the comments. For more information on the NewTeeVee 2008 outsourced predictions, see this post.

ruiz.jpgGeorge Ruiz, head of new media at International Creative Management (online video talent agent):

“Not all mobile video is terrible. Streaming content and ‘download to
phone’ video has been hampered by the slow rollout and adoption of 3G
cellular networks and this results in mostly unwatchable pixelation and
slow frame rates for video, but ‘download to computer and sync’ solutions
can result in a great user experience.

“I carry clips of all my clients’
work on my iPhone and the playback is gorgeous. For now, if you want to
watch video on your phone or mobile device it’s best to download it from
iTunes or directly from the source and use freeware to format it to fit
your device’s screen. The latter method is pretty geeky, but the mobile
video-watching audience is, for the time-being, mostly first-adopter
types who are quite tech savvy.

“Finally, the rumored 3G version iPhone will probably arrive in 2008 and
all mobile video problems will be solved.”

nalts.jpgKevin Nalty, “self-proclaimed viral video genius” (a.k.a. Nalts from YouTube):

“Currently very few creators are producing videos for mobile. This requires different camera shots and tighter stories. A few creators will begin churning out sponsored, serialized content that works for this medium. The mobile providers are dying for content they can amortize and this is the space to watch in 2008 as mobile viewing begins to move from the ‘dark ages’ to something closer to what’s happening in Japan and Finland.

“More importantly, here’s the fundamental logjam of mobile — demand is increasing slowly, and the telecom companies and content owners are unwilling to cede control to each other. One has eyeballs and the other has videos, but the monetization is minimal and big companies will battle for control as startups quietly resolve the situation.”

kliavkoff.jpgGeorge Kliavkoff, chief digital officer, NBC Universal (former interim Hulu CEO and leader of other NBC tech projects):

“Repurposed linear and on-demand television will continue to have a place on mobile devices, but the big win will be when someone starts producing high-quality content that embraces the benefits of reaching a small, highly personal screen that is always with the user and can embrace personalization and interactivity. Unfortunately, the current model in the United States for sharing the revenue driven by mobile video does not creative enough incentive to warrant the spend necessary to create viable programming. Obviously, without the investment in programming, the performance of mobile video will continue to lag. This is really a chicken-and-egg problem and the content creators and mobile carriers should work together to fund breakthrough programming.”

cioffi1.jpgJohn Cioffi, Hitachi America professor of engineering at Stanford (a.k.a. DSL soothsayer):

“It may well work within China, which is the primary market. However, elsewhere it has its problems from an application standpoint.”