Meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, some of media’s biggest players got together to discuss “The Future of Mobile Technology.” While mobile ad startups continue to be bombarded by investment, the future of mobile advertising is very much up in the air.
First of all, thanks to Michael Arrington of TechCrunch for his excellent appraisal of the meeting.
Fortune Magazine Senior editor David Kirkpatrick moderated the discussion, and quoted some rather dispiriting projections about mobile advertising. According to Forrester, U.S. mobile ad revenue is expected to be below $1 billion as late as 2012. Currently, only 3% of Internet advertisers are putting ads on mobile devices.
Google CEO Eric Schimdt disagreed with the estimates, saying that the mobile “tipping point” had not yet been reached, and that Android will help bring about that moment in the coming years. Schmidt seems very excited about GPS-based location advertising, and that the open platform rules the FCC adopted for the 700Mhz spectrum will be important to reaching the next level.
NBC’s Jeff Zucker and Sony’s Howard Stringer had different opinions about the selling of content on mobile devices. Zucker, while unhappy about certain aspects of the current fragmented state of mobile platforms and the low payout (10%) for content providers, believes there is hope for the future. Stringer was less than exuberant about the future, citing China’s disprespect for copyright laws and the high price of production of Sony’s state-of-the-art OLED screens.
Unfortunately, Bono was not present at this particular conference.