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Made4mobile – Or Is It?

When I first started aggregating content and approached my colleagues in the animation industry looking for distribution rights I would get very blank looks or often silence on the end of the phone as in the hearts and minds of most content providers the mobile was still essentially considered a device for making phone calls. That has changed significantly in the last few years. But ever-the-less the animated made4mobile content business has not become as significant as I anticipated.

When I got into the mobile content business in 2002 I really thought that the animation industry would be quick to jump in bombarding the sources with content made specifically for mobile, but that has yet to happen.

Just for technical reasons alone animated made4mobile content should be highly encouraged by operators, device manufacturers, service providers and consumers alike as mobile and animation are actually a perfect couple.

One of the biggest issues facing content providers and/or operators is the size of data files. Available bandwidth, consumer cost of data use, device capacity and device screen size are major contributors to this issue. Looking at live action content even if made4mobile on a mobile device can be disappointing not only visually, but also for the bank account as no matter what you do or how well you compress it, it still chomps up bandwidth. Animated content by its nature, makes k weight manipulation relatively easy and image and sound quality are very controllable. Numbers of colors, numbers of drawings and complexity of back grounds are definable so file size issues are faced right from the start. Furthermore, adjusting products for a variety of devices can be done easily and very effectively in Photoshop or similar programs.  The results are good. They render a variety of formats that look like original products and not products that appear to be compressed. This means that animation should be the darling of all players in the mobile content chain.  

Never-the-less animated made4mobile content has not had the explosion I anticipated.

There are many reasons for this, the most obvious being: whether there is a way to actually make money from it, the primary consumers of animation are children (that said one of the first made4mobile animated “series” I saw was the daily Karma Sutra) and the difficulty in getting one’s head around the device and the industry in general.

When I first started aggregating content and approached my colleagues in the animation industry looking for distribution rights I would get very blank looks or often silence on the end of the phone as in the hearts and minds of most content providers the mobile was still essentially considered a device for making phone calls. That has changed significantly in the last few years but not completely. In preparing for this blog entry I took a spin around the animation space to see how much mobile and animation have come together. My favourite barometer is the result I pulled up for “mobile” in the search engine on one of the largest animation broadcasters:

There seems to be some way to go in joining the worlds of animation and made4mobile.

This blog will look at some of the reasons for this, hopefully propose some solutions to get these two closer as well as provide information on the business itself and what is going on out there.

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