Mobile - the First Screen?

Two reports this week suggest that mobile is becoming the first screen. How should a future media industry respond and what does it mean?

Stuart Dredge of The Guardian reports on a speech given by Eric Scherer, director of Future Media at France Télévisions at the MIPFormats conference in Cannes. Scherer urged his industry to adapt to the changing habit of their audience. >“The TV industry will have to work on a mobile-first strategy. Not a digital-first strategy, but a mobile-first strategy, because mobile is now the first screen, and it’s taking time away from the TV.”

Scherer also talked about how he believes that the consumption of news through mobile media is leading to “a new syntax, a new grammar, a new vocabulary”, and that the TV industry needs to forge better partnerships with ‘big brands’ to make money from digital platforms.

Scherer’s message to his industry contrasts with an article by Leo Mirani on Quartz which looks at new analysis from the Pew Research Center on the way in which American smartphone owners use their devices.

Mirani is concerned that the move towards mobile as the first screen is symptomatic of a growing divide between affluent americans and their younger, poorer non white neighbours in the access they have to services, which in developed countries are increasingly internet based. He points to findings which suggest that 1 in 5 american adults uses the internet only on smart phones, because they cannot afford ‘real’ computers. >‘For people in poorer countries, where internet connectivity is only now taking off due to mobile phones, public services and systems remain largely offline. But in the West, people with limited or no access to the internet are at a much bigger disadvantage—Western society and its services are increasingly built around an assumption of universal internet access. Those who are unable to fully participate risk being left behind’.