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Lodestar Universal sees mobile as a threat to the OOH medium

05-October-2007
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Lodestar Universal sees mobile as a threat to the OOH medium

At a press meet in Mumbai, Lodestar Universal presented a study on ‘Understanding the Connected Generation’. The findings provide a global perspective of ‘connectivity’ around the world, with the study conducted on a sample size of 10,000 across 21 markets.

The study was done considering the rise of portable technology and the emergence of portable platforms like mobile, in tandem with the massive growth in social media, and content that can be downloaded or transferred to portable devices. Further, amidst all this, marketing, advertising and content of portable technology are still in the infancy stage as there lies a huge gulf between the industry expectations and what the consumers are willing to accept. This study conducted by Universal McCann on portable technology and other mobile-media platforms was an attempt to understand and engulf the space between the marketers’ expectations and consumer demands.

It was found that consumers in the connected world have a significant access to a massive range of portable devices, regardless of economic, social and cultural conditions. Forty-one per cent of the respondents said that they preferred audio players, contrary to 20 per cent of those who accessed videos on portable devices. The study also revealed that just 24 per cent of mobile usage was phone calls in Japan, as compared to 65 per cent in the US.

3G phones topped as the number one portable device with 43 per cent of respondents opting for the same. The study further said that there was a huge appetite for content on portable devices, which currently was in short supply from the marketers’ side. It was also found that the portable technology was driving the user-generated content with 81 per cent of respondents having at least one digital camera. While music and games remain the most-valued content, illegal downloads continue to grow.

On the advertising front, it was found that branded content was the most acceptable format of advertising with 67 per cent of respondents saying that they wouldn’t mind branded advertisements on portable devices.

Nandini Dias, COO, Lodestar Universal, said that there was a lot of dual consumption taking place with the emergence of the portable technology. “Today, the consumer is not at all focussed on one particular medium. He acquires information through multiple platforms simultaneously, which makes way for content on portable devices, like that of mobile.” Dias pointed out that mobile was such a medium that could virtually eliminate the current OOH media, as mobile itself was an out-of-home medium, having an added advantage of it being carried wherever the user goes.

Dias further said that ‘permission marketing’ would soon be a new trend in India, as telecom providers will have to look for alternative business models in the case of a highly competitive scenario, thus offering free calls to the consumers.

Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar Universal, pointed out several constraints in the business of mobile platforms, in the form of content delivery and advertising. “The current infrastructure that we have in India, the current broadband connectivity and technology-based applications are letting us down in meeting the customer expectations,” he said.

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