Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), Facebook Inc (FB): Three Companies on the Right Side of the “Mobile Revolution”

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It’s happening now: a monumental shift from TVs and PCs to tablets and smartphones. It’s called the mobile revolution. It’s old news right? Wrong. There is still money to be made as the mobile revolution continues to grow. We may be past the beginning, but we are nowhere near the end.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

In fact, the International Data Corporation projects 18.3% annual growth in the smartphone market until 2016, a 96% increase over four years. Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics says that the number of smartphones in the world will double in the next three years from one to two billion. By 2015, almost a third of the world will possess smartphones.

Here are three companies that will profit from the mobile trend.

Football gone mobile

Americans’ eyes are glued to football more than any other professional sport. The two most recent Super Bowls, for example, generated ratings over 48, making them the most watched television events ever. So Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) decided to harness this potential cash cow.

In June, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) paid the NFL $1 billion for rights to air Sunday afternoon games on mobile devices. Before, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) could only stream Sunday, Thursday, and Monday night games. Now, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) users can enjoy Sunday afternoon games in their home market as well.

This deal is dynamite for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) as it gives the carrier a way to widen its economic moat. Through the deal, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) hopes to attract new customers while also earning subscription and advertising dollars through the exclusive NFL app.

The deal comes to the dismay of cable companies like Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), one of many television providers who are losing their grip on exclusive rights to sports programming. Although Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is expanding its options to meet increased demand for streaming and applications (the firm recently experimented with on-demand streaming for certain programs), the NFL is the Holy Grail of television.

Advertisers especially love the NFL because games are rarely recorded for later. When consumers are watching football, it’s almost always live – no fast-forwarding commercials. Still, if consumers stop watching the games on TV, advertisers will logically reduce advertising spend on the tube.

If at first you don’t succeed…

Unfortunately for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), its highly anticipated release of the ‘Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Home’ interface did not go as well as the company hoped. The Android skin that effectively makes users’ devices revolve around Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) received disappointing ratings from the get-go. Reception could have been worse, but it seemed consumers weren’t impressed with version one of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s mobile initiative.

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