It would appear that the Howard Stern & XM Radio deal has scared the hell out of cell-phone providers. Cingular has partnered with HBO, and Sprint and Verizon are hunting for "short films suitable for the size-challenged cell-hone screen," according to Newsweek. Nokia is setting up a tent at the Los Angeles Film Festival to show off its mobile-video phones and technology, Newsweek reports.
Is there anyone else that finds this a bit ridiculous? Naturally we'll be using cell phones as a primary media-consumption device in years ahead. Finland and Japan have proven this. But I find it weird that some phone providers are going directly to film festivals for two reasons:
- This stretches these cell-phone providers well beyond their core competency. Ultimately, they'll need an intermediary familiar with media and with the ability to broker deals. Credit to Cingular for recognizing this. Verizon or Sprint should connect with MTV.
- Right idea, but wrong place. In the short term, we're not going to watch even 5-10 minute clips. Cell providers should be looking at partnerships with Atom Films, Break.com or any owner of stupid, funny, short clips. Then worry about longer form and tasteful content.
- If the cell providers really want to get "bleeding edge" they should go directly (short term) to viral-video creators like ZeFrank or EvilFist.*
Note: The writer of this blog is friends with EvilFist (even though the feeling isn't mutual). Since this blog produces zero revenue, it's not above self promotion.