Ad-funded Mobile the Future? ABSOLUTELY!
Of COURSE mobile content will be mostly ad supported - eventually. We're just not quite there yet.
I've seen a bunch of studies on the mobile space recently that conclude that consumers would be happy to accept ads if they were relevant. Years ago there were similar studies used to espouse the benefits of behavioral targeting - I even sponsored one with Ponemon and Revenue Science. The trouble with these types of studies is they simploy ask consumers whether they'd like ads that are of interest to them. What right minded person WOULDN'T want to receive something that is of interest to them?
Many of the obstacles to moving towards ad supported content today lay with the carriers, who do not culturally understand the advertising business. (At least not the U.S. carriers.) For example, the carriers tend to view the concept of ad supported in very black and white terms. Advertising is NOT inherently good or inherently bad. Advertising can provide a GREAT consumer experience - or a HORRIBLE one.
More on this later....