Posts Tagged ‘mass media

06
Apr
08

It’s the way forward!

Mobile media is a term that we all think we understand, well I certainly did. That was until I sat down to try and write this. So my first stop was to find a basic definition of mobile media, so I turned to Wikipedia, a site which allows any individual to collaborate in writing about a certain topic. According to Wikipedia:

The mobility and portability of media or as “the media-in-motion business” has been a process in the works ever since the “first time someone thought to write on a tablet that could be lifted and hauled – rather than on a cave wall, a cliff face, a monument that usually was stuck in place, more or less forever”. Today, mobile media devices such as mobile phones and PDA’s are the primary source of portable media from which we can obtain information and communicate with one another.

This touches on the importance of portability. Anyone who has a cell phone can use mobile media. Some popular mobile media applications are SMS text, website access, ringtones, wallpapers and interactive chat sites like Mxit. According to a report on Reuters last year world wide cell phone subscriptions reached 3.3 billion users (or about half of the world’s population). When comparing this to television usage (which is about 1.5 billion users) is not hard to see why mobile media is on the verge of being the mass medium of the future.

Mobile Media is ideal for South Africa where few locals have access to the Internet by cable or landline, mainly because of various monetary factors. Only 10.3 % of South Africa’s population have access to the Internet, whereas in countries like America, 71.1 % of the population has access to the web.

Mobile Media has the potential to reach more users than traditional media ever has. When looking for statistics of mobile media users from South Africa it can be seen that we are already starting to have a major impact in this area. Last year the BBC reported that 19% of its international WAP users came from South Africa.

Mobile media has great potential in this country and I shall explore some of the areas where mobile media can work, and some of its downfalls in this blog series. A few of the issues that I consider are: the popularity of mobile media, why large companies are incorporating mobile media into their strategies and products and how mobile media is used by the youth. I will adopt a critical perspective while commenting on these issues. It’s going to be a journey of discovery for me and will hopefully be beneficial to those reading this!