March 31st, 2005

Complexities of Content Distribution on Cell Phones

Well, Zuma (Sorrent) is finally available for my LG8000 today. I suggest checking the game out – easy to learn and addictive – at least I find it to be.

zuma.jpg

The “wait” for Zuma provides an illustration of the complexities of content distribution to cell phones. The game was “ready” last year – I think I first saw the game around the time of the CTIA show last October. Zuma was launched at CTIA this spring ca. March 15th. However, it was available on a select few handsets. I’ve checked a number of times during the past few weeks to see if it is available for my phone. Looked on Verizon’s site to see if I could set up an alert. Today as I was browsing, I found it – even listed under “feature” applications – very plain text listing – which I don’t quite understand given the rich display technology that the phone has.

Despite the buzz around ring tones and mobile games, the distribution is certainly not an easy process yet. The proliferation of hand sets, the number of games in the cue waiting to be tested/released, etc. all add to the complexity of selling content on cell phones. The staged timing of releases to handsets also complicates the marketing process – hard to push out the message and generate a lot of buzz while at the same time saying “… well, yes, it’s out there, but not available for your phone yet.”

(as an aside, I find that more and more people are reading/responding to email as a form of multi-tasking. In the past few weeks, I’ve even had several panelists doing email while their fellow panelists were speaking. I’m wondering if playing games on a cell phone will be an acceptable form of multi-tasking during meetings – or will it just be messaging???)

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