With media companies still reeling from Focus Media's legendary listing on the NASDAQ last July, mobile phone TV has been hailed as a possible breakthrough media, capable of crowning the industry's next king.
"Mobile phone TV could very possibly hold the key to becoming the newest star," Liu Wenze, business development director of Shanghai Dragon Mobile Media Corp, said during the Mobile Multimedia Applications Conference yesterday in Beijing.
Liu said mobile phone TV could well grow into a fifth powerful medium after newspapers, TV, radio and the Internet.
"The Chinese are spending more money in the entertainment sector, contributing enormously to a prosperous advertising market," he said.
As the latest fashionable media, mobile phone TV has development potential because of its portability and its lack of age limitations even children carry phones now.
China has more than 430 million mobile phone users, and conference participants regard the country as one of the world's most promising markets for mobile TV and other value-added wireless services.
With the standard for broadcasting signals to mobile phones, which was developed in China, taking effect yesterday, the mobile TV industry took another step forward.
But even with the standard in place, "without the full support of mobile operators and production companies, public acceptance of mobile TV will be slow," warned Chen Tongxing, vice-president of Mobile Multimedia Co Ltd.
Major mobile service providers, such as China Mobile and China Unicom, have already set up mobile TV systems of their own, but use other specifications. Adapting to the new standard will take time.
"Few people are willing to invest in the new standard," Chen said. "Different technologies and standards have been adopted by phone makers and mobile TV providers, creating barriers to making the service popular.