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@ MPA: Bringing Magazine Content to Mobile Phones ? Don?t Wait For Carriers

Just as magazines and their websites have to strive for greater differentiation when it comes to content offerings, the need is even greater when it comes to mobile content, panelists speaking at today?s MPA conference said.

Boris Fridman, CEO, Crisp Wireless, offered a concept to keep in mind when thinking of mobile users? needs: ?Fundamentally, mobile is entirely different from the web. Repurposing does not work. I would not want to read War and Peace on my phone. The content has to be timely. At some point in the future, it should recognize what you?re doing at the moment, and be location-specific if possible. You have to think about how to deliver millions of pages of content in small, timely doses. Basically, when I access content on my mobile, I want something that?s a time-killer. If I have five minutes, I might want to view something quick.?

On the issue of what kind of advertising works best, Heidi Lehmann, VP of Strategic Development, ThirdScreenMedia, highlighted a campaign she worked on for Dunkin Donuts in the Boston area. ?We modified the traditional banner ad. If a user clicked on the ad, they received a coupon code that gave them a discount on items at Dunkin Donuts. This is increased foot traffic 10 percent. This kind of success is fueling ad budgets for mobile campaigns. We?re now seeing budgets increase and therefore, we can be more sophisticated. The process is snowballing. The buys are now coming in a quarter in advance, not just at the last minute.?

The success of mobile advertising also likely will influence carriers?who are still taking a wait and see approach?to offer lower prices to consumers as a more ad-based model takes hold, the panelists said.

Lehmann: There?s going to have to be a quid pro quo. There will be subsidation by carriers in return for advertising dollars. If they don?t and mobile bills continue rising, then consumers will scream. Carriers will also be an important part of the process. They have subscriber information and that can be used for targeted ads. It?s critical to forge relationships to them.?

Still, Fridman is not so sanguine about carriers making deals with advertisers so quickly, saying, ?Dealing with carriers is like dealing with Saddam Hussein sometimes. I hope there are no carriers here. Carriers are important, no question. But are they ultimately critical? No.?

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