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10/24/2005
05:36 PM
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Disney Scrambles For More Video iPod Content

The company didn't provide specifics, but said that mobile content will be key to future growth for Disney ABC Television Group.

Other challenges include repurposing the content for small screen size on devices, video is less than the highest quality, and there is limited content available. As for trying to download sports or news clips to a cellular phone, it still takes too long, nearly a minute, said Keith Mallinson, executive vice president for research at Yankee Group.

Both analysts and mobile telecommunication carriers said it's still unclear how large the subscriber market is for mobile video content. "Wireless carriers seem to be pushing more than customers are pulling," said Michael Hollon, market research manager at Leap Wireless International Inc., a mobile carrier in San Diego.

For now, downloadable ring tones for cellular phones have proved most successful in the mobile device market. "It's the most established," said Keith Mallinson, executive vice president for research at Yankee Group. "In 2004, the market for ring tones was $250 million in the U.S., and we forecast about $1.1 billion by 2008," said Mallinson. "It's only one market but it gives people confidence that there is something to this mobile content."

Perhaps that's why Disney is moving ahead with plans to expand content to mobile devices. Chang admits it will take time to build, "but imagine the world when we get there."

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