With CES going on this week, two of the early stories coming out point out the obvious trend: media is getting more mobile every day. However, it's not the way many mobile operators and content providers had hoped since it's not tied to the device. The first story comes from Motorola who is finally getting ready to launch their iRadio product that was the talk of DEMO nearly a year ago. It tries to bridge just about everything by creating a mobile phone that is the "hub" of a music system, but which can easily connect (via Bluetooth) to a car stereo, home stereo or computer. The idea is that it can store your music files or play streaming radio, similar to satellite radio offerings. The more interesting development, however, is the latest version of the Slingbox that connects to your TV and lets you watch your existing TV from anywhere over the internet. They've now added the ability to watch that TV via mobile device as well (something their competitor, Orb, has also been touting). What both of these developments show, however, is that people aren't going to buy into the idea put forth by mobile operators and content providers that you buy separate content for your mobile device. People just want access to content, in whatever is the best format at that moment. While the iRadio offering does have a component that allows paid-downloads, the idea of easy connectivity with other systems shows at least some recognition that people just want their "music collection" -- not their "computer music collection," their "stereo music collection," and their "phone music collection." More importantly, though, the Sling Media offering should scare the companies betting big (and they are betting a tremendous amount) on mobile TV offerings where people are expected to pay a subscription fee just to get mobile TV. The Sling offering recognizes that the content and the device don't need to be tied together -- and people will increasingly expect that they can view content in whatever way makes the most sense for them.
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