Korean mobile broadcasting odyssey begins

CANNES: The future unwound at the Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting Showcases and business panel at the Palais this afternoon with the West and the East putting forth their offerings marrying content and technology.

The Koreans, who have been in the limelight this MIP, went for it first. Korean KBS' Seung Kyu Lee detailed the country's plans of the DMB system - both the terrestrial version, already running, and the satellite version, which is slated to hit the market by 1 May.

Lee described the potential of the Korean market, which has 10 million car owners and 35 million mobile phone owners, who would be targeted with VCD quality video, CD quality audio and value-added data services.

According to the business model presented by Lee, 2005, the year of launch would see only traditional advertisements on video, but 2006 would see ads on data service, banners as well as location based ads.

By 2007, Lee says, it would be full-fledged DMB commerce, with interactive services, scalable video services and customised services for clients. Lee's revenue estimate for the the terrestrial DMB service is around $751 million by 2007.

TU Media Corp's Hoekyun Ahn shared the key findings of the research that has preceded the launch of the satellite DMB. While the average Korean watches TV for 160 minutes every day and listens to radio for an average 48 minutes, the SDMB tests revealed that SDMB had an attention of 114 minutes from viewers every day, in four blocks of 28 minutes each.

The weekend viewing pattern is slightly different from the weekdays, as there is also complementary use of TV along with the mobile devices that SDMB offers, Lee said.

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