Stunning Revelation: People Like Free Mobile Media

A new white paper from market research firm Parks Associates and the Entertainment Technology Center@USC said that both Hollywood studios and TV networks should provide more free content on cell phones to help seed the mobile audience and promote their offerings in other media, MediaPost reports.

The report urges content producers to offer up free mobile goodies as loss-leaders the way Apple has used free or low-priced songs and videos to spur iPod sales, the article said:

“Demand for mobile content will grow as consumers become more accustomed to it, but their appetite must be whetted with free content,” the white paper said. “Using free clips and previews to promote movies or TV shows will pave the way for paid mobile content later.”

Sarcasm aside, one good point in the report said that initially, studios can simply repurpose existing content as a cheap way to tout new theatrical releases and DVDs: “Eventually, they would have to create programming that is specialized for the mobile screen, where things like panoramic scenes and rapid cuts don’t play well. The content’s uniqueness would also add to its appeal.”