By Chris Donkin

Cool content could offer branding boost

Content partnerships provide mobile operators with an opportunity to associate themselves with brands consumers may deem more engaging and exciting, Viacom SVP of distribution strategy John Curbishley said.

In the Media and Entertainment track, the broadcast executive noted operators could reduce churn and increase revenue by providing content services. However, he added, the more intangible brand boost could also benefit operators that have suffered previous service issues.

“It’s fair to say our mobile providers’ reputations are very variable and we as consumers have different attitudes towards them. Some of this is driven by things like customer service and billing across the years,” he said. “[Content is] a really nice opportunity to partner the carriers with brands that are maybe a bit more engaging and exciting with viewers.”

Viacom has content deals in place with operators around the world including Telefonica’s Latin American unit and Swiss operator Sunrise, distributing channels including MTV and Nickelodeon.

Curbishley said the company’s consumer research suggested viewing long form content such as movies on mobile was becoming increasingly common, but suffered from device and network constraints in some markets. He cited short battery life and limited data allocations as core issues.

The study also suggested although people still prefer to watch on a TV if possible, the convenience of mobile devices meant it offered an excellent additional platform.