Are we ready for a mobile-first world?

There's more work ahead before consumers rely mostly on their mobile devices

By , IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless

To entertainment audiences, mobile may already be in front, but most content providers haven't taken advantage of that, said Ashton Kutcher, the actor and venture capitalist, who spoke in a keynote session on Thursday. Most content providers have focused on mobile and traditional platforms competing for eyeballs. Viewers may be able to watch on a mobile device, but there's no "additive experience," Kutcher said. Sports programming is the rare exception, he added.

So-called two-screen experiences have mostly involved trying to fit a mobile component into a traditional show, Kutcher said, and he thinks that's the wrong approach.

"The assumption is that the mobile device is the second screen, and I think that the mobile device is actually the first screen," Kutcher said. He likes the concept of mobile users getting together and deciding what mobile content they want to share on a big screen, then transferring it there.

With other types of services, the Web still has a big role to play, Kutcher said. Developing in HTML5 may the best strategy, because it's still too hard to discover apps, he said.

"I don't think we're at a place where mobile-first is a must yet. ... You still have to consider desktop and PC, and how they relate," Kutcher said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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