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Last week Elephant Creative associate Becky was doing the walk of fame in Hollywood, attending talks at Social Media Week. After learning who really owns your social media, Elephant Creative moved to the Egyptian Theatre to discover the future of mobile and social entertainment. Most famous for hosting the first ever Hollywood premiere, now the building was home to a panel that included Smash Networks, Mimvi, the Wasserman Media Group and a surprise appearance from King Chip (we had to look him up too). The event can be watched online here.

The panel got started with some facts and figures:

  • Currently there are 6.2 billion mobile subscribers and it’s estimated that by 2019 there will be 9 billion worldwide.
  • The top five mobile subscriptions are; local based services, social networking, mobile search, mobile converse and mobile payment.
  • With more and more users moving to mobile entertainment, there are now 60 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.

Taking this on board, each member on the panel spoke about what they think is the future of mobile and social entertainment, and how it is going to change the way we interact.

Kasian Franks from Mimvi
Mimvi is a search engine for mobile apps that gives users relevant and useful results.

Kasian begins by describing the differences between native and web apps. He says to think about a web app you need to imagine having all your senses removed, what you are left with is the HTML skeleton. However, bring back the senses and you get a native app. He believes that mobile, native apps are the new websites. We used to have dominant websites and now it’s apps. With estimations that by 2015 we will annually consume more than 25 billion apps, it’s becoming more important than ever to make sure we’re finding the right ones. Mimvi is the largest mobile app search discovery engine in the world and anticipates that it will support hundreds of billions of searches.

Jennifer Van Dijk from Wasserman Media Group
Jennifer works with athletes to improve their social media presence. 

Wasserman Media Group helps give athletes their own voice and identity online. While the athletes focus on interacting with fans, Wasserman manage the business interest. The company also manages sports and teams. Jennifer argues that followers are important but not everything, she described followers as being at the top of a funnel and it’s engagement that pulls them in and moves them from awareness to purchase. She wants to know more about the people who are sitting in the seats at a sports stadium but it’s a difficult thing to track. When asked if mobile experience takes away from the stadium experience Jennifer believes that it enhances. She says that being able to join in through mobile apps and social media takes you from being 1 in 40,000 in the stadium to being 1 in 4 billion watching the game across the globe. It allows in casual fans and even people who haven’t watched the game can join in the conversation.

Eric Rice from Smash Networks
Smash Networks is a new, mobile-first entertainment platform. 

Eric Rice considers the question ‘How can you make adverts tolerated and wanted?’. He believes that, currently, adverts are things that invade and annoy all mobile entertainment users. He thinks rather than interrupting, brands need to find ways to become your day, that there needs to be more online storytelling and a focus placed on stimulating the most powerful sensory of humans, the imagination. Eric thinks that video is just the tip of the iceberg, it’s the entertainment that creates conversation, not technology. He argues that the technology answers the who, what and when but we need to find out why users are paying attention. He believes the future of video will be user curated and that everything needs to lead towards saving people time. When it comes to social media, Eric thinks that we’ve all focused on what good tools we have but have forgotten how to use them, that we are mobile accessible but advertisers are not respecting our time. He states that ‘The future of mobile is entertainment. The future of entertainment is mobile.’

King Chip, Chip tha Rapper

Taking a more laid back approach to the topic, Chip thinks that social media is both a blessing and a curse. He says that it has taken away the amazingness of an artist making it, as he knows that he can just click a button and share his music with users across the world. But at the other end of the scale, rather than waiting hours for that video on MTV, you can just look it up on YouTube.

Comment: It’s quite evident that mobile apps are becoming as popular and interactive as websites but will they be the whole future? The panel described mobile apps as art. Of course there is a creative process involved in mobile app development but they are rarely created for the love of art, the majority have a sole purpose to make users buy things. One comment that stuck with me was Eric Rice’s argument that marketers need to find ways to make advertising part of your day, more subtle and tolerated. If advertisements ‘becomes our day’ does this mean we won’t notice them anymore? That we’ll be sent adverts in the shape of subliminal messages that we’re unaware of? It sounds a bit creepy to me. 

Written by Elephant Creative associate Becky Hunt.