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Inevitability, meet mobile TV: FLO Forum boss talks free content

Chris Ziegler

You can only pimp a pricey, woefully underutilized multimedia network for so long before drawing the conclusion that there's probably something fundamentally wrong with your business model, and indeed, operators around the world have had nothing but trouble attracting subscribers to premium mobile TV services as they've launched over the past few years. The head of the FLO Forum -- the nonprofit group tasked with advocating MediaFLO -- is now acknowledging that mobile TV needs some free, ad-supported content in order to get off the ground (it's just too bad the key players couldn't have figured that out before launching two services in the States), noting that South Korea and Italy have seen some limited success going that route. People like free stuff, but it remains to be seen exactly how Qualcomm and others are going to be able to sell enough advertising space and combine it with enough compelling premium content to get some return on investment; nationwide mobile TV networks don't just build themselves, after all.

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