Discovery recently announced a new set of mobile series that will run on Sprint, Amp?d, MobiTV, SmartVideo and Modeo, and I caught up with Doug Craig, VP of Programming for New Media Operations at Discovery Communications for a quick chat about what the channel is doing in the mobile space. As an indication, he said that part of Discovery?s role is to move the whole market forward. ?Our investment in original programming now is just the tip of the iceberg,? said Craig, adding that Discovery wanted to get into mobile video early and ?grow with the category?.
The video clip service will be a two-hour block of programming set on a loop and updated weekly, and will include episodes from each series. ?We put clips in a thoughtful order trying to have people there and engaged,? said Craig. However, the thinking behind the format is that people will only be watching for short periods of time and are unlikely to be tuning in on the hour or half-hour, so this way they can watch as many clips as they have time and interest for.
Relaunching the WAP page: Aside from the video service Discovery will relaunch its WAP page this summer, and is focusing on that rather than applications because of the large upfront costs of developing an application, and the hassle of then porting it to all the different handsets. ?We want to get WAP up and running because it?s the lowest common denominator,? said Craig, saying that it was the best way to reach the widest number of people. There?s more scope for offering information than is possible in a linear format, and the ability for polling and voting. Wallpapers and ringtones will be there too, of course.
Revenue models: The company works with distribution partners on an individual basis when sorting out the revenue model, since different players in the mobile industry have different models. The agreement has to make sense for both parties, said Craig, but wouldn?t go into specifics for any partners.