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Around the World: BlackBerries, Video & Vuclip

Fri, 06/24/2011 - 8:26am
Monica Alleven

You might not guess this given that many folks in the U.S. consider Research In Motion (RIM)'s glory days to be long gone, but people around the world are watching a lot of video on BlackBerries.

In fact, BlackBerries show up a lot on Vuclip's list of top 10 devices globally for mobile video views. In the month of May, a version of the BlackBerry showed up seven times out of 10 devices accessing video.

The BlackBerry 9700 took the top spot, followed by Apple's iPhone. The Fly 2080 came in at No. 6, and the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic was No. 10. While the iPad didn't hit the top 30 – it did make a dent in another metric measured by Vuclip. The iPad now ranks 15th in terms of data consumed by device in May 2011.

As it turns out, RIM executives weren't kidding when telling analysts during a conference call last week that it's doing pretty well internationally in places like Latin America.

Vuclip CEO Nickhil Jakatdar lives in the United States but often travels to emerging markets, and while the BlackBerry is viewed one way in the United States, it's considered the most popular device in places like Indonesia and Latin America. In emerging markets, SMS is very popular but expensive; BlackBerry Messenger is free, secure and works across countries, making it very attractive. "BlackBerry Messenger has become like a social network," he says.

Vuclip, which bills itself as the world's largest independent mobile video service and works across a variety of platforms, including feature phones, is seeing growth from all over – India, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. There's also a significant user base in the United States, Jakatdar says.

For its June 2011 Global Video Insights report, the company compiled the top May global rankings based on its 330 million monthly mobile video views.

Some of the report's highlights:

• In the United Kingdom, the most-viewed video was a Royal Wedding spoof ad from T-Mobile.

• In the United States, the third most-viewed video was a Corning commercial detailing the wonders of glass. "A Day Made of Glass" not only went viral, but has been scoring top places in Vuclip charts in Venezuela, Indonesia and Malaysia in the last few months.

• In Singapore, a Thai commercial from dtac "Disconnect to Connect" rang true with mobile watchers. This same clip has been topping Vuclip's charts for a couple of months.

Jakatdar says a good commercial can be as viral as anything you might see from Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. The mobile video medium and the short-form nature of commercials give brands a new way to reach mobile consumers, many of whom don't have access to PCs. And for those who are wondering, the answer is yes, Rebecca Black's "Friday" video did make the rounds on mobile, too, when it was on YouTube. "It's Friday, Friday ... Yeah"

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