Montag, 15. September 2008

Web and Mobile Content, Part 1

This is part 1 of a 2-part series titled Web and Mobile Content: a Summary Overview. In this part we give an introduction and discuss the content that already exists.

Traditional entertainment and advertising channels are making way for content delivered via the Internet to computers, cell-phones, personal media players and even TVs; three emerging branches of web-delivered content are 'mobisodes,' 'webseries' and 'motion comics.' While mobisodes are mostly repeats of television shows adapted to fit on a cell-phone's screen, webseries and motion comics are meant to be viewed on a computer and feature original content.

Reasons for web and mobile content
There are two primary reasons for delivering content through the web and cell-phones; the first is targeted advertising—advertising can be tailored to each viewer depending on age, browsing history, etc; and the second is customer acquisition and retention.

Existing material
The number of mobisodes and motion comics has grown slowly in the last few years; webseries, on the other hand, have exploded. There are webseries produced by major entertainment brands, such as FOX Entertainment, Viacom, and The Food Network, but the desire to target specific markets has driven such unexpected companies such as the Miller Brewing Company, Google and Unilever to create their own webseries on fashion and comedy. Many independent producers, both professional and amateur, create content in the hopes of profiting later, once it has a large viewing audience.


There are relatively few mobisodes available at the present time; most of them are produced in the USA and the UK. The list includes ABC's Lost: Missing Pieces; FOX's Prison Break and 24: Conspiracy; and the Dr. Who episodes TARDISODES.

Motion Comics
Motion comics have been used to advertise printed comics, as is the case of Marvel's comic books; movies, such as WB's Watchmen and I am Legend; books, as in the case of Stephen King's Just After Sunset --and Robin Cook's Foreign Body--[Edit: Foreign Body ended up being a webseries instead of a motion comic]; or brands, the way that exclusive content promotes a TV station, as exemplified by Viacom/MTV's Invincible.

The list of webseries increases constantly; although there is no comprehensive listing yet, Wikipedia tallies over 150 (mostly English-speaking productions), with viewership fluctuating from nothing to the hundreds of thousands. Veoh includes 39 products under their 'web series' category. One of the most-known series is Quarterlife; and the most watched webseries in YouTube is The Guild.

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