Scream: Raising the Bar
By Peggy Anne Salz, Fri Aug 27 05:30:00 GMT 2004

Scream has pushed the envelope of mobile content since its launch a year ago. Now it's time to move to the next level.

No organization can achieve high performance without a mission to guide it. TheFeature strives to go beyond the hype to the heart of the debate in the mobility industry. Our mission: To keep our vibrant and influential readership ahead of the curve on how mobile communication is changing every facet of our lives.

From business to culture, through a powerful mix of news, opinions and analysis TheFeature has consistently examined where mobility is now - and where it's headed tomorrow.

In line with this, TheFeature was also the first to bring industry news and views to the mobile in the form of Scream, a breakthrough premium MMS content service. Like the turbulent mobile industry it covers, Scream has gone through exciting changes.

Since the soft launch during the CeBIT computer trade show in March 2003, Scream has also learned some tough lessons about what flies - and what fails - in the mobile space. We learned that it's not always what someone says, but who says it that grabs subscribers' attention and eyeballs. So, we shifted our focus and asked thought-leaders to weigh in with their thoughts on key mobile issues.

We also learned that Scream is more a medium for mobile analysis than straight news. Indeed, news is a commodity subscribers can get from a multitude of mobile alert services, from the Bloombergs and the Reuters of this world. It can be a painful lesson, and many mobile operators and service providers are going to learn it the hard way. Content may be king - but exclusive content rules!

Our value-add therefore became our independent analysis of milestone developments in the industry. From the rise of Chinese mobile standards to the transformation of Motorola, Scream has captured the industry "Zeitgeist" in hard-hitting commentary from the movers and shakers in the mobile space.

Now that we've fine-tuned our back-office arsenal of delivery systems and content generators, Scream is ready to move on. We will focus squarely on what we call convergent content, the next breaking wave in the creation of mobile services. To this end we will bring our MMS capabilities in line with our other delivery channels to deliver readers a holistic view of key developments and debate in the mobile space.

So far, most providers have chosen to take the path their peers take. Perhaps this explains the lack of subscriber choice - after all, how many operators have merely fine-tuned their mass-market music, weather and financial news services by adding a few images and a personal greeting?

Many providers listened to the consultants and followed their advice to the letter: Services that sell must be immediate - they can't be services that users can wait to access on their PCs. However, the Scream experience added another ingredient to the recipe for success: passion. Services must offer subscribers access to - and the possibility to interact with - content about which they have strong opinions. And TheFeature's community is known for its "edgy" views!

Scream, like TheFeature, has built its reputation on a no-holds-barred approach to analysis. We offered the first MMS mobile news service, and we will continue to reinvent mobile content going forward. Watch this space!