QuickPlay: U.S. mobile TV, video market will only improve

Fri, 03/13/2009 - 8:25am
Traci Patterson

Consumers are confident about the uptake of mobile TV and video, according to QuickPlay Media’s 2009 Market Tools survey. About 78 percent of those surveyed expect an increase in usage by 2010.

The number of people watching TV and video content on their mobile device(s) remained steady from 2008 to 2009 – at 35 percent. For those who had not tried a mobile TV or video service, perceived cost continued to represent the biggest barrier to adoption, with 58 percent indicating that it was the No. 1 reason they had not viewed TV and video on their mobile phone, QuickPlay found.

Approximately 55 percent of respondents said that they were interested in mobile TV and video, and nearly half were aware that their mobile operator offered a mobile TV and/or video service. In 2008, only 35 percent of respondents knew that their carrier offered a mobile video service.

Mark Hyland 

“These results corroborate other recent research from IDC and Nielsen, both of which provide strong indication that the mobile TV and video industry is gaining momentum,” said Wayne Purboo, president and CEO of QuickPlay Media. “In 2008, we saw our customers introduce innovative pricing options designed to connect consumers with high- interest premium content and increase their marketing efforts. Looking ahead, we expect to see wireless carriers continue on this path as they work to realize the revenue potential of mobile TV and video services.”

Mobile video services are definitely benefiting from the marketing efforts around multimedia-enabled devices such as the iPhone and Blackberry Storm, QuickPlay’s vice president of marketing Mark Hyland told CED. Slightly less than one-quarter of consumers are using a multimedia-enabled phone (24 percent), but these devices will play a critical role in enticing consumers to watch TV and video on their mobile phone.

Specific findings included:

  • 38 percent said that if they were considering changing wireless carriers, their ability to offer the latest multimedia-enabled PDA/smartphone would impact their decision to choose that carrier.
  • 41 percent of respondents stated that they would be more likely to watch TV and videos on their phone if they owned a multimedia-enabled PDA/smartphone.

The survey also found that improvements to mobile phone plans could stimulate adoption. About 48 percent of respondents said that they would be more likely to subscribe to such a plan if a set amount of basic video content was included in the package (i.e. free comedy clips, movie trailers), QuickPlay said.

But paying for content remains the dominant model, with the majority (72 percent) of those currently viewing mobile TV and video content willingly paying for it. The survey found that consumers are also willing to tap into alternative, ad-supported models in exchange for free access to mobile TV and video content.

“There’s no question that free, ad-supported content will be huge,” Hyland told CED. “I think we should expect on mobile a good mix of premium and free, ad-supported content, just as there is today in the cable model.”

Specific findings included:

  • 49 percent of respondents have a monthly voice and data plan through their wireless carrier, versus 38 percent who currently use a monthly voice-only plan.
  • 51 percent said that they would be willing to accept advertising in return for free TV and video content, versus 54 percent in 2008.

Video viewing habits have also seen a noticeable shift in terms of where consumers are watching mobile content. Most notably, 30 percent of consumers are watching TV and video on their mobile device when at home, versus 11 percent in 2008. This trend demonstrates that the mobile phone is beginning to gain status alongside other in-home options, such as the television and the computer.

Specific findings included:

  • 25 percent of respondents view content in between daily activities, 16 percent while in transit, and 11 percent while waiting in line.
  • 66 percent said they would consider the ability to pause and resume content – a deciding factor in whether or not they would watch longer forms of content, such as a full-length movie. This number compares with the 57 percent figure reported in the 2008 survey.
  • Of those watching mobile TV and video, 45 percent have spent 11 to 30 minutes watching a TV show or movie on their mobile phone, with 30 percent having spent 31 minutes or longer doing so. Additionally, 21 percent are using mobile TV and video services more than once a week.

Technically speaking, there are still quite a few issues around battery life, Hyland said, but a lot of improvements have been made and will continue to be made. “With newer smartphones, you can watch something reasonably long and still have good battery life.”

QuickPlay Media is a provider of mobile TV and video solutions for companies offering video services via broadband wireless networks. The company’s solutions offer ways to manage, distribute and monetize mobile TV and video.

The company’s online survey included approximately 1,000 U.S.-based mobile subscribers between the ages of 18 and 35.

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•  QuickPlay: U.S. mobile TV, video market will only improve
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