What the?!? "mobile phones inevitably become the dominant personal entertainment device for consumers[!]"

What am I missing?! According to Ron Erickson in TelevisionWeek, "Text TV's Interactivity Can Lure Youths Back," Chicago: Jun 26-Jul 3, 2006.Vol.25, Iss. 26/27; pg. 16: "mobile phones inevitably become the dominant personal entertainment device for consumers".

Well, this sounds like man bites dog and then chases down cat and scratches it! It's clear that mobile phones are allowing amazing access to digital information in all forms, to say that it's "inevitable" that they will become the "dominant personal entertainment device for the consumer"? As measured how, by the number of locations it might be used? By the potentially huge monthly bills some uers may back into? What am I missing? Here is the abstract for this article, cite4d above, and which was found on Proquest, accessible in most libraries (see also http://news.thomasnet.com/fullstory/473630, accessed 24 July 2006):

click image for original accessed 24 July 2006.

It is certainly not a news flash that the majority of commercial television stations in the US are taking a significant hit as new technology pulls viewers away from the television set. Reaching the youth market is particularly challenging. Social networking sites prove teens have a thirst for interaction. As mobile phones inevitably become the dominant personal entertainment device for consumers, text television is a natural next step for broadcasters to leverage mobile connectivity. Text television allows television audiences to send text messages from their mobile phones directly to the television screen and interact with programming.

I often see myself as ahead of the curve, living in the future as most of my peers and colleagues catch up. But the title of this article knocks my socks off, and not because I believe it is true. Of course, the first rule I try to operate with is "I'm not a soothsayer nor am I always right." I've seen many predictions throughout my career that appeared to be (and usual were) pie-in-the-sky. But this statement had me picking myself back up off the floor. The author, Ron Erickson, is CEO of Blue Frog Mobile, "a Seattle-based media and entertainment company and the provider of TXTV services to television broadcasters in North America." In forecasting, people like Mr. Erickson want to "prime the pump," as one of my graduate marketing professors put it. I suppose the thing to do is to find the company's web site and poke around, or maybe I'll try to contact the author and see if he really means what he says here. Who knows, maybe I'm the one who's missed the wave. I don't think we've come to many conclusions yet as to how viewers might interact with television, or maybe there are the imfamous "proprietary research studies" that are backing these bold statements. Don't forget that you can ask a respondent "Would you like to own a Jaguar?" If 90% say yes, what have you learned (that the other 10% don't know what a Jaguar is!)"

So the lesson to my students and peers is that when it comes to forecasting the market for new media products and services, consider the source. There will be positive, negative, and even neutral views. To get the full picture, seek them all.

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2006, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Find any typos! Don't smite me, let me know!


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