A weak year for mobile TV and the dangers of virtuanomics

Mobile television isn't set for take-off, due to weak consumer demand in Canada. Hot off the presses, these are some of Deloitte's 2007 Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions...

The 2007 edition of Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions earmarks hot-button issues, and their business implications, for this year and beyond, based on input from more than 5,000 Deloitte telecommunications practitioners, clients, and external analysts around the world. For the first time this year, the Toronto-HQ’d firm conducted interviews with 36 leading executives from around the world on the key industry theme of convergence.

The Deloitte report notes media and advertisers’ rising support of real economies within digital, online fantasy worlds such as Second Life, but also cautions that advertisers and media entering these realms need to find a sense of perspective. The value of virtuanomics, while options are currently limited, may soon become large enough to also attract the attention of tax authorities. The firm predicts that the value of new media will continue to be tapped by investors and advertisers, and that the most successful efforts will likely be managed using only directly comparable statistics that clearly show the relative performance of all types of media.

The report points out that digital user-generated content, cast as the eventual conqueror of the established media world, is likely to draw targeted audiences to specific channels in 2007. But media companies should approach those channels not only as promotional vehicles, but also for efficient talent scouting. Deloitte also predicts that millions of viewers will continue to get engaged with television programs, directly influencing outcomes of popular shows this year. Increasingly, revenues will be culled from such participation.

On the smallest screens, television may not be so hot. Deloitte notes that significant investments have been made in developing mobile television services, but that the performance of the medium isn’t likely to pay off before the end of 2007. The report predicts disappointing performance for the commercial impact of mobile television services in Canada due to slow adoption of the products that make watching TV on your telephone possible. Mobile devices will, however, become the primary network for voice calls, while providers of fixed voice services in homes and offices will see decline. Mobile operators will need to fundamentally change their strategies to provide more reliable in-building service and a capacity for handling larger volumes of calls.

Other predictions from Deloitte for 2007 include: a lot more people getting vocal about net neutrality and government regulation on the Internet; a growing focus on environmental-friendly technology; growth in biometric-based security applications (fingerprint scanning, for example) driven by the public’s willingness to pay more for it; and a focus on power-scavenging (the use of devices that generate energy from sunlight, vibration, motion, sounds and pressure).

For more info on Deloitte’s predictions, visit www.deloitte.ca, or click here for a look at the media-specific trends.