Advancing mobile technologies

Hub Associate Matthew Linley recently attended RE:SYSTEMS seminar on mobile technologies as the guest of Howard Monk of the local . The invite came about after Howard and Hub Director Julia Payne were chewing the digital cud as part of work the hub is doing on the market development of Gigzine (thanks Howard!). The key speaker at the seminar was Nick Gallon until recently head of mobile platforms for the BBC, now head of mobile for RE:SYSTEMS.

Here’s an extract from Matthew’s blog about the event:-

By 2015 80% of mobile hand sets will be smart phones (the UK leads the market for mobile adoption and useage – current UK stats suggest UK penetration of smart phones is already 58% and tablets are at 19%).

Increasingly too people are buying through the mobile space. According to techcrunch in the UK alone consumers are spending £1000 a year. On black Friday (the day after thanksgiving) in 2010 6% of online transactions were from mobile sources. That had risen to 14% in 2011 and 25% in 2012. Even as far back as Nov 2010 the Digital Audiences report found that 53% of its sample had used the internet to engage with the arts and cultural sector in the last 12 months. It must be far higher now – no wonder Bristol Watershed have just ditched their paper brochure .

Chris Unitt as part of a series of blogs called arts analytics found that out of a sample of 100 arts organisations only 19 had mobile friendly sites. Not great on so many fronts – but as Chris points out – with so many of us now reading e mails on mobile devices not being able to click through almost defeats the point.

Another theme of the re-systems evening was the amount of data you are able to interrogate through a successful mobile presence –but if this NESTA report Counting what Counts is correct it’s another thing as a sector we’re not great at.

Here’s another interesting snippet from – `consumers spend more time using tablets for media and entertainment whereas smart phones are predominantly being used for communication and task orientated activities’

Which linked into another theme from the evening. BYOD – almost bring your own bottle but not quite…. In this case were talking bring your own device.

As tablet penetration increases over time (and our familiarity with dual screening) – can we expect to find ourselves actively engaging with performances / events whilst in the audience through our mobile devices? The more commercially minded performer will encourage us to ‘buy more whilst we’re in the room’ – the more creative perhaps to engage / take part. This of course requires developing cross platform tools/apps or mobile sites which work across the platforms (Android currently has 68.4% of the market, Apple 19.4% and Others 12.2%)

Gallon’s final slide was both simple and insightful. Start with your vision. Know what you are trying to achieve and why. Know your user. Actively seek your users feedback. Think bigger than the marketing department (the digital audiences report has a benefits triangle which includes access, learning, experience, sharing and creation) and finally understand what technology best serves your purpose.

One things for sure – nobody can afford to avoid mobile.