New Media Age reports Universal has partnered with BoreMe Mobile to launch a series of mobile viral videos. Kontraband and mobile carrier 3 already moved the first steps in this direction a few months ago. Funny mobile videos are available for download for £1, but users are encouraged to share the content with friends using Bluetooth technology. The cost of mobile video is in fact one of the main points of discussion when it comes to moving viral ideas to mobile phones. It’s good to see that brands don’t focus their approach on making money out of it but rather on having users exchanging their branded content. With the growth of 3G more and more users have Bluetooth enabled phone, and I believe this is the key technology to push peer-to-peer interactions. Unfortunately at the moment (I think) it isn’t possible to track the number of times a file passes from one user to the other, but I’m sure that with the diffusion of the mobile Internet new tracking technologies will become available. Furthermore there are other “traditional” ways to monitor the buzz.
In the UK, 3G operator 3, owned by Hutchison, is about to become the world’s first operator to sell airtime on its own network to advertisers. Unfortunately the article on Media Guardian (free reg.) doesn’t clearly say what exactly 3 is going to do. One possibility is that they will offer free downloadable ads to their clients This idea has already been successfully tested with Apple iPod ads, which generated 160.000 downloads in a week. Mobile video advertising clearly opens interesting opportunities for viral videos delivered mobile phones, althought pricing and/or the business model still remain a big question to be answered. Who should pay for downloadable mobile ads? Branded content, should be free, but when it comes to mobile phones, free is a word that almost doesn’t exist, especially with carriers always wanting to share revenues.
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