CNN senior director of product development Dermot Waters, Rhythm NewMedia vice president of sales Michael Hirshoren, and MobiTV senior director of partner and product marketing Jay Hinman participated in a panel titled Streaming Media: Is There Value in Mobile Video? at mediabistro.com‘s Think Mobile conference Wednesday afternoon at Comix in New York, moderated by PCMag.com mobile editor Sascha Segan.
On their companies’ mobile strategies and the industry in general, Waters said:
Video is very important to CNN, in general. We have been making a big push to have much more emphasis on video on our site. We want to get our content out there.
Our main strategy is (to make money) through advertising revenue. We provide a full suite of solutions to media companies. We provide advertising around each of the different engagement opportunities.
Touching on Time Warner Cable’s and Comcast’s TV Everywhere initiative, which will make video content available across all platforms, Hirshoren:
We’re in a pretty amazing time period right now in this true world of convergence, where cable companies are trying to figure everything out.
We have traditionally shown clips of 2-3 minutes. A lot of that is due to MSO restrictions — we don’t have full access to all of our shows. When we get more toward the TV Everywhere world, when you can authenticate yourself as a cable subscriber, then you can justify long-form content.
On opportunities in the near future, Hinman said:
What we are moving increasingly toward is a much more consumer-centric view of broadband video so that you are the programmer. Content from the tier-one providers like CNN, Fox News, and ESPN needs to be monetized. I think there is room for a broadcast solution that will actually work for a lot of people, as well as a unicast situation where it’s one-to-one.
We’re getting the most requests in a live-streaming environment from sports. I think we’re living in a clip-based environment. I think sports or news will be the next foray into live streaming.
Mobile broadcast is certainly an option and probably another avenue for a revenue stream. TV Everywhere is going to be how we bring that to a much broader audience.
On choosing which mobile platforms to target, Waters:
We have to go through a prioritization exercise and determine where it makes the most sense for us. We just kind of go one-by-one. We’re obviously not on all of the devices right now. That’s somewhere we want to be. There are places other than the Apple App Store where you can distribute your app yourself.
Going back to the world of four days ago, before the iPad, some of the HTC phones for T-Mobile and Sprint are a much larger format. There are a lot of things you can do on an iPhone or an Android that you can’t do on other platforms.
Everyone has bought into the hype of the iPad, and now you have these tablets that can be used to watch full-screen video in a much larger format. We’re just focusing on building these really robust experiences on the platforms that are out there today. The Apple App Store is enormous now. It’s really hard to get noticed unless you’re in the top 25 or the top 50, and it’s really difficult to stay up there, too.