Just 50 years ago a computer took a whole room space. Now it is hand-carried, and the ones using smart phones actually carry computers in their pockets. Technologies develop in the fastest way, the speed of life changes setting special requirements to everything and especially the means of communication, including media, the most mass mean of communication.
If media doesn't want to lag behind, experts say, it has got develop a "mobile strategy." On October 29 Dejan Restak, Director of Business Development of Wireless Media, Serbia discussed the issue at the office of the Open Society Georgia Foundation. The dialogue was held in the course of workshop Newspapers for Mobile Apps within the framework of Media Support Program in Georgia.
According to different surveys conducted worldwide, Dejan Restak said, in a five years time the number of users of mobile internet browsers is going to exceed the number of PC owners. The decrease in the sale of PCs is proportionate to the increase in the sale of mobile phones. One billion out of 6, 877, 800, 000 world citizens use mobile phones.
In line with the surveys presented by the Serbian pundit the number of people obtaining information via mobile phones has increased by 30%. An increase is being observed in the number of people receiving advertising through mobile phones. For 2014 at least 50% of mobile phone owners will be able to pay taxes through cellular phones. The popularity of mobile phones is being braced up with the mobile operators' special offers in addition to joining their network, for instance providing mobile phones at a symbolic price, which is equal to 1 cent in Serbia.
What's the situation like in Georgia in this regard? According to the latest data provided by the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) 3, 060, 438 have got mobile phones. For the country with the population of 4, 400, 000 it's a tremendous figure. Statistically the level of access to internet through mobile phones is going up in Georgia too. Georgians are known for their preference for Nokia phones (43%), followed by Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Motorola.
These details get important when media market starts using mobile phones for new communications. "It's a wonderful possibility,' says Dejan Restak,"a mobile phone is an item through which you can deliver information any place. People got used to the communication through mobile phones, and especially SMS-ing. According to the survey carried out by our company the mobile phone users aged 18-24 send at least 3 text messages per hour."
B92 - a local program specially developed for mobile phones by Dejan Restak's company offers users prompt delivery of local and world news. Local news plays crucial role here. "Our language and our local pieces of news - that made B92 popular," said Dejan Restak. Its popularity rating is far ahead of BBC news since local media reports on the issues being of importance to the locals."
"To launch B92-like local programs it is important to know which mobile phones are being most widely used in the country. As regards the information to be delivered to the users through these programs (or through other means, SMSs for instance) it should be refined. "Using a mobile phone is like having a snack," said Dejan, "it's comfortable to receive only short smart pieces of information."
The mobile phone users, according to the Serbian expert's observation, can be divided into three categories: professionals - people who suffer from constant hunger for information, endlessly seeking for news. They are properly equipped but have got little time and instead of thoroughly reading provided information they just look through it. Taking it into account short texts are the best food for them.
The second category is made up of teenagers. They have got fixed budget and specific interests far from political and socio-economic fields, hence they cannot be included in this target group. The biggest segment represented by the married are very close to them - they keep strict control over the budget, are careful with spending money, avoid using brand new technologies and rarely access internet.
The following category includes people of so called mobile relations. They have more money than average users (family guys), they love new brands and their number is increasing. There is another group - the people well aware of new technologies who respond to any new offer. They carry out a kind of testing and through their opinions create a ground for public opinion. That's the category the new players on the media market should take into account.
The tips by the Serbian expert will be useful for the one to introduce a new face of media - mobile media. Development of new technologies is leading us to it. Internet now enables people to book a holiday anywhere in the world, or a ticket at the theatre located in the next street or order sausage offered with a special discount by a particular restaurant.
All the abovementioned provides a new area yet ungrasped by Georgian media. Just yet, since in the forthcoming days a Georgian company is going to make a special announcement in this regard. In case of support by the country's appropriate infrastructure, socio-economic situation, and the interest of the population the mobile media will become a part of Georgian reality. Unless otherwise Georgia is going to taste later whatever is being considered as a part and parcel of modern world.