Loop Wireless has announced a couple of content deals for its launch on the Australian Stock Exchange today. Australian Idol will launch a mobile community similar on Telstra to the one put up for Big Brother?members will be able to upload (moderated) videos and images as well as join text chat threads. ?A very high proportion [about half] of people who bought Big Brother content also joined the community,? Loop CEO Martin Hoffman told MocoNews, adding that he expected similar results with Australian Idol.
The big problem (or perhaps a better word is ?question") around branded communities such as these is what to do with the community once the show finishes. Is the community closed with the show, kept going as it is or under a different brand? The last option is probably the least useful for periodic shows like Big Brother, which are likely to start up again after a few months. Hoffman said that the industry was still in the experimental stage so it?s not clear what is the best thing to do, but it would likely rely on what all the companies involved want as well as what the community does. If it stays mainly around the show it will likely die with the ending of the show, but if the discussions have extended past the show into new areas it could become self-sustaining and worth keeping. Hoffman said the communities are often given challenges (eg, create a Big Brother audition tape) and these can be kept going, perhaps even getting sponsors or advertisers for the challenges. I think the ideal situation for the shows is to create a strong community during the event which carries on interest in the series until the next season?
The West Coast Eagles (an Australian Rules Football League team) has connected its online chat forum to Telstra?s AFL Mobile Chatzone, so mobile users will be able to join the chats when the teams sports stars chat to their fans.
Disclaimer: Loop Wireless is a sponsor of MocoNews.