NAB recap – Open, Personalization, Advertising

NAB recap – Open, Personalization, Advertising

Last week, I was invited to present and moderate at the biggest Broadcaster’s show – the NABSHOW in Las Vegas. Compared to CTIA, the show was almost double with registered attendees exceeding 83K. For me, it was a day trip. I was involved with the Mobile Entertainment Summit being held on the 22nd.



The day started with the keynote from Matt Oomen, VP of Product and Technology development at Sprint Nextel. He laid the foundation for the day’s discussion with some overarching themes of Open Platforms, Open Devices, Social Networking, Personalization, and Broadband capabilities of the mobile industry. There were a number of great panels discussing the growth in the mobile video and applications space with panelists from all across the value chain. The bottom-line:

  • For mobile video to succeed, we need to reduce the number of global standards so that there is some standardization for OEMs and content providers instead of running around integrating new standards every year.
  • People didn’t think that was going to happen anytime soon
  • Apple’s Appstore has been a boon to some developers as they have refocused their monetizing strategies from advertising to subscription or charging for downloads which is good for the industry as it can diversify and experiment more. A company that has been successful at that is Glu Mobile
  • Zynga has an interesting model of social networking based games. The games are free but as you get more involved and want to raise the stakes, the price goes up, quite significantly with over $50 chips, etc. Idea is that a small population can fund a large base involvement for free
  • Texting has been quite successful with mobile marketing and advertising. Hipcricket and Singlepoint with support from Entravision and Fox argued (and rightly so) that to be successful, broadcasters should start developing their audiences and provider personalized services.

Next up were two of my panels. First one was on Mobile Trends being jointly presented with Brian Jurutka, VP Comscore. The session was moderated by Jay Frank, SVP, CMT. Brian presented some really interesting data on mobile video in the US market. A good number of video downloads are happening sideloaded and overall usage remains low.


Another interesting tidbit was for 3G vs. non-3G users


And while iPhone helped change the ecosystem, video usage looks quite similar to G1. Another interesting data point was that the video consumption tapers off with time for users meaning that content providers need to keep users engaged with different strategies.

I presented data on the overall US market and how that is evolving and ended up some observations and recommendations.


Next up was my panel discussion on how Mobile Innovations will impact Mobile Entertainment Experiences. I had the honor of moderating four very clued-in folks


Rebecca Hanson, VP, Strategic Initiatives, Sprint. She has been behind the WiMAX launch

Sajal Sahay, Director, Product Marketing, T-Mobile USA. He has been behind the Android G1 launch

Tim Chang, Principal, Norwest Venture Partners. He has been involved in the mobile industry for over 10 years as an investor and sits on several technology company boards and is very active in discussing emerging trends

and Raj Ray, Director, VAS, Qualcomm. He has been behind developing the VAS business for Qualcomm globally, esp. in the emerging economies

Salient points of our discussion:

  • Broadband provides great incentive for user to experiment with new apps and content
  • Appstore while increasing fragmentation will also increase competition and hence innovation
  • Openness drives innovation and carriers play an important role in driving that
  • For 3G, Usage growth is much higher than revenue growth so we need to figure out ways to bring them in alignment
  • Social networking needs to be embedded into everything
  • Role of alternate devices like kindle and cameo is increasing and we will see all sorts of vertically integrated devices. More and more consumer electronics devices will have cellular connection
  • Thanks to iPhone, interesting gaming models are emerging and gaming might provide guidance on how the ecosystem will develop
  • Data MVNOs anyone?
  • Emerging economies are bringing forth some interesting monetization and device technologies that will benefit everyone like high-end smartphones for less than $50
  • Advertising based monetization model is not everyone. One has to scale first
  • The biggest areas to invest: Personalization, Audience Measurement, QoS related, Payments, Android Games, Carrier agnostic user profile platforms, mobile cloud computing, augmented reality and much more

Overall a great show. I noticed that even Google had a booth (was absent at CTIA). Something to put on the calendar for next year. My thanks to Michael and Zahava for inviting me to participate.

My next events are at:

TiECON – May 16th – Mobile Monetization

Future in Review – May 20th – Future of Mobile Broadband

mHealth – May 22nd

Hope to see some of you there