If you run a business with an internet strategy, hopefully you’ve started thinking about a mobile strategy as well. You need to skate where the puck is going and not where it has been.
IDC estimates that 24 million US mobile phone users will pay for some kind of TV/Video content or services by 2010, up from 7 million this year. That is a sizeable market share. And it will only get bigger.
Provo Labs has two investments in the mobile space: one is Commerce Fly (pre-beta), a mobile SMS alert system for consumer product pricing alerts. If you are interested in stocking up on sugar from your local grocer when it hits a 52-week low price, Commerce Fly will enable that. We are looking at applications in potentially dozens of vertical markets. Grow Utah Ventures is our partner on this startup. I am especially looking at using mobile alerts in the real estate space, to give home buyers and real estate agents an edge.
The other is a recent investment we made in an ebook publishing company, with thousands of ebook titles (including a popular Bible Study suite) that can be downloaded from various mobile content websites, such as Handango.
We also have 10Speed Media with its innovative online video distribution strategy where corporate video content and advertising can be downloaded to video iPods and other mobile devices.
Now the strategy will be to use CommerceFly and Packard Technologies to enable other Provo Labs portfolio companies to implement mobile content and mobile alert strategies, when it makes sense for each of them.
The question for you is, what is your mobile content and mobile software strategy?
One of the biggest challenges with mobile is that the carriers control so much of what happens on phones. I have a Google Alert for “off deck” and one for “off portal” because those are the keywords that describe how content and software companies are able to go around the mobile carriers and find ways to sell directly to mobile customers. At CES in January there were lots of discussions in the mobile phone panels about off deck revenue growth both in the U.S. and Europe.
Let me know what your thoughts are about how to develop a mobile strategy, and who the best partners are for web companies trying to extend their reach.