TV on Your Cellphone Coming Soon to the U.S. and Europe

In Asia and much of the rest of the world, television has been available in streaming format to cell phones for some time.

In Europe and the U.S., however, it’s been a long time coming as networks claim it will overload their systems and as competing network standards have made it difficult to employ. Limited offerings from carriers such as Verizon and AT&T have had dubious popularity amongst users, but new technology and movements in the market are changing that.

Test trials are already underway in some areas of North America as providers work out the final details of the service offerings. In South Korea, says Samsung’s Hankil Yoon, “Our experience shows that people like watching TV on mobile phones, even on smaller screens. And they like watching it for free. It is only a matter of time before it goes global.”

Samsung already includes mobile-TV chips in its smart phones for the Asian markets is making a handset for Sprint in the United States. The free-to-air mobile TV availability in South Korea has been out for over five years and now about 56% of the country’s population watches it regularly from mobile devices. An additional 80 million people in China, Southeast Asia, India, Africa, and Latin America all watch mobile TV as well.

Earlier this year, Sprint and nine broadcasters in the Washington-Baltimore area began a four-month trial of mobile TV for various Samsung, LG, and Dell devices including netbooks, mobile phones and portable DVD players.

If that trial is successful, the devices may begin to go national by the end of the year.

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Local Businesses uses Local and Digital Media Outlets

Traditionally, local businesses have taken advantage of local media outlets to advertise their products and services.

They spend money on ads in the Yellow Pages and the local alt-weekly as well as the major local newspaper and the local magazine publications. As everyone tightens budgets, local outlets are beginning to follow the national companies’ lead in shifting their marketing dollars toward online advertising instead.

This is probably a sound strategy, since studies are showing an increased likelihood that online and digital formats are where their customers will be looking for them. Mobile searches for local services are expected to go up from 27.8% to 35.1% in the next five years, and ad revenue for local searches is expected to improve by 5.8%.

Media outlets are making the shift as well, including putting the Yellow Pages online and launching geo-targeting services that delivers ads based on the mobile user’s zip codes to help them find new businesses in their area. Mobile offers some of the best strategies for local businesses, since simply having a cell phone number implies certain things about your location.

Social media is also on the rise as local businesses put their attention into developing personal relationships with their customers. Always one of the advantages of local businesses has been their personal intimacy, and social media is a great way to let those qualities shine out beyond the people who actually set foot in the store.

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