The GEMA Breakfast Series that took place on July 15th at Fox’s Century City studio lot focused on the mobile media landscape, an ever-changing and innovating area that spans everything from mobile phones to iPads and other tablet-like devices.
Headed up by Matt McMahon (SFS ’96, MBA ’04), VP of Mobile for Fox Digital Entertainment, the discussion gave a broad scope of how mobile media works, and how Fox specifically is using the technology to increase both its viewership and bottom line.
Capitalizing on the success of shows like Glee, for example, Fox is creating interactive applications so buyers can create their own virtual Glee Club which enables them to “sing” with other users across the world. The app, which is offered on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, comes complete with pitch correction so even the least savvy singers have a chance to follow a melody, is available for $.99 and includes three karaoke-style song downloads. The day after each new episode airs, viewers can download an additional song for another $.99 a song.
McMahon gave several demonstrations of all the new mobile technologies currently in or coming to the market, from a phone that acts like a flute when you blow into it, to the James Cameron’s Avatar (yes, the full movie) that will be available preloaded on the newest Samsung phone at T-Mobile. He also passed around several mobile items so the audience had a chance to see the technology at work and try it themselves.
When the floor was opened up to the audience for Q&A, one of the biggest questions on people’s minds was the viability of this technology’s ability to grow with the user, and if it was age-and gender-specific. McMahon pointed out that in many of the informal gaming sites (Yahoo Games, for instance), it’s equal parts women and men who play. As for age, he indicated that everyone from young children to grandparents are in on the mobile tech scene, a fact several people in the audience (which had a wide age range) confirmed with their own mobile device ownership.
Story and photos by Jennifer Vitanzo (C ’99)