March 7, 2006
Last week, I wrote about Mobizzo, a business unit of News Corp. (NYSE: NWS ) that's getting into the mobile content game. The move didn't surprise me or anyone else. Between the iPod, the iTunes video store, and TiVo-to-Go, taking digital content on the road has never been more popular.
And that's just in the U.S. A Fool on our discussion boards learned that, in Europe, Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) customers are willing to pay between 5 and 10 euros per month to subscribe to mobile TV.
Perhaps it's this combination of developments that, last summer, led researcher LogicaCMG to estimate that the global market for mobile content would -- get this -- triple to 7.6 million euro within 12 months.
So, in last week's story, I asked readers if they were as bullish as News Corp. on mobile content, and if they were, how might the burgeoning market manifest itself into Rule Breaking investment opportunities. Here are three of the more interesting responses:
- You can take it with you. One reader pointed me to a small private company called Netomat, which, according to its website, allows for the creation and hosting of content that can be viewed by PCs and mobile devices alike. That's interesting because customizing content for a phone isn't simple.
- Advertising will find you. Another Fool led me to a January article in The Wall Street Journal that said demand for MobiTV, a start-up service for watching TV on a phone a la Nokia, is spiking. But that's only half the story. Turns out advertisers are interested, and they're buying up space. DaimlerChrysler's (NYSE: DCX ) Jeep unit was one of the first, and the Journal reports that Unilever (NYSE: UL ) is also expected to give the new medium a try.
- Buh-bye, wallet. Finally, a Fool wrote to say that "soon I'll be able to use my phone as a credit card." There are many ways to think about this, but as I look at the opportunity, eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY ) would probably love nothing more. In fact, of all the businesses out there, eBay may have the most to gain from an uptick in mobile content. Think about it. Can't you envision a Skype-branded WiFi mobile phone with PayPal service embedded? I can. And I can see millions of Gen-whatevers using it to browse, talk, message, and shop. eBay, of course, would be collecting billions of pennies every minute that they do.
Certainly no one should expect to see these innovations overnight. But it's a stock market truism that some of the best investments are readily observable in our everyday worlds: Starbucks, McDonald's, Home Depot, and the like. The next great stock may be weaving its way through that little device pressed against your ear right now.
Brrrrring! It's for your portfolio.
Home Depot is aMotley Fool Inside Valueselection and eBayis aMotley Fool Stock Advisorselection. Wondering what other stocks are helping David and Tom Gardner wallop the market by more than 25% each? Get anall-access 30-day passand find out for yourself.
Fool contributorTim Beyerstries to get mobile content on his Treo 600 every now and again. Tim owns shares of Nokia. You can find out what is in his portfolio by checking Tim's Foolprofile. The Motley Fool has an ironcladdisclosure policy.