It is no secret that mobile devices have exploded in popularity over past few years. What might be surprising is how mobile devices are actually used, and the true expanse of this mobile trend. Mobile phones are no more just a phone and messaging or gaming device these days. The latest statistics show that 70% of digital media time is spent on mobile devices. This is more than just social media, it includes music, television and movies. Just a few years ago it would be hard to imagine such a majority of consumers watching state-of-the-art quality video on a mobile device more than big screen TV.
Mobile gaming has upped it’s game as well, and it’s not just about casual gaming Candy Crush or Words With Friends anymore, although those games are still popular and fun; serious gaming has now joined the party. Fortnite is a key innovator here with a revolutionary mixed platform allowing players to join the same arena from any device. This was a major innovation, and opened the doors for mobile to welcome previously distant hardcore gamers. Improving technology is another fundamental pillar here, the latest mobile devices have processing and display powers capable of delivering a genuinely high-end gaming experience. And technology is much more than just that supercomputer in the palm of your hand. 4G (soon-to-be 5G) networks bring us all together in the same virtual room regardless if we’re in New York , Tokyo , London , or Paris. Gaming, or now even enjoying a movie, is exponentially better together. Mobile direct sharing and publishing to social media enables each of us to make these experiences our own as we share our lives with each other in meaningful ways not possible before.
This combination of technology and social engagement created a critical mass of consumers attracting the most innovative of content creators. Compelling content goes viral, attracting more consumers for an even bigger market further attracting creative engineers and artists in an ever accelerating virtuous cycle.
This is where mobile starts to lag. While consumers are all in on the mobile platform for media, the vast majority of consumers and independent professionals alike do not perceive their mobile phone as a serious tool to create content of their own. However these same technologies and networks have also enabled apps that can create, edit, and compose photos and videos in real time on your mobile device. From wherever you are, whenever you are, and with the same social engagement at your virtual doorstep to immediately share and engage with friends family and the world.
And there are some impressive apps out there now. Leaders in the space from the usual suspects, for example Adobe Creative Cloud suite and Apple iMovie. Long-time stalwarts in the desktop space, CyberLink PowerDirector, also have a compelling mobile version. There are some lesser-known apps worth checking out as well, such as Photo Lab Picture Editor or Camera MX. (Note – we are not affiliated with any of these companies, although we do admire their apps)
It is not clear why these apps are not more popular? It may be in part due to lack of promotion. But it actually seems to be part of the larger trend of consumers expecting mobile apps to be free or cheap on mobile that serves as a headwind to consumer software delivery. Business models for ad-supported media and in-game purchases do not fit well for other mobile application genres such as these audio and video editing suites. This is compounded by the fact that audio and video editing software is extremely complicated and expensive to develop.
And it’s too bad too, because the freedom to create photo and video content anywhere anytime is liberating and empowering. So much of our pictures and videos are captured with our phone in the first place, of course it’s great to be able to perform high-quality edits and composition right there on the spot. But there is so much more, a whole new world is opened up as we can act on that spark of random creativity whenever it hits us, while we’re on the go, on a train ride, or even waiting in line at the cafe.
Fortunately, some app publishers are innovating their payment models as well as their technology. Subscription based services are gaining popularity for some of these apps, notably Adobe is offering high-value subscription proposition for their software suites. Time will tell how well consumers take to subscription-based offerings and if they can emerge to mainstream parity with traditional advertisement in-app purchase models.
User experience this also exponentially more challenging on a mobile device. While the core technology such as processing power and memory is more than enough to do the job, the small screen real estate is a paradigm shift for both software engineers and application users. This is not to say that these apps are not user-friendly, but there is certainly a paradigm shift here that goes both ways and consumers may not be quite ready to cross the chasm.
We here at MX-Fusion love to empower the creative in everyone. Our mission is to create a deeply artistic music player that is immersively intuitive. We know how hard it is to make things easy, even more so for a content creation app on the mobile device. While we focus on user experience and simplistic functionality to make it easy, we also face similar usability design challenges and work non-stop relentlessly working towards next level improvements to further close the gap here.
What is your take on audio video editing with your phone? Does a subscription model appeal to you? More importantly, whether you’re on desktop or mobile – What’s your next big thing?
While we ponder our next big hit set to go viral for sure , let’s enjoy a Fusion for Counting Crows | Mr. Jones: