Mobile TV Market Begins to Take Shape

In September 2006, Compete reported on the marginal, albeit growing, interest in mobile TV and video products services online at Big-4 carrier websites. At the time, online consumers exhibiting interest in mobile TV and video services comprised just half of a percent of all Big-4 carrier website traffic.

Compete recently completed an online study surveying existing Big-4 customers regarding their interests and preferences around this new entertainment medium. Of 2,500 of customers surveyed, 13% indicated that they would be interested in watching TV and videos on their wireless phones, with men more likely to adopt (17%) than women (12%). When asked about specific content that they would be interested in watching, Big-4 customers reported that live TV was the most appealing.

The mobile TV industry has evolved since September, specifically with Verizon Wireless launching V-CAST Mobile TV during early March in select cities around the United States. Advertising and marketing campaigns promoting V-CAST Mobile TV have led to a 104% increase in consumers evaluating the service on Big-4 carrier interest in mobile TV and video has thus grown to almost 1% of all web site traffic, and looks to continue growing, with AT&T planning a live video service of its own in coming months and Sprint continuing to add channels to its own MobiTV lineup.

This early data bodes well for key players in the mobile TV supply chain, including the content networks, technology enablers, and of course, the wireless carriers and MVNO’s. Consumers, however, should prove to be the real beneficiaries as interfaces improve with the advent of more advanced multimedia handsets (iPhone anyone?), programming options expand with more content players getting into the mix, and the price inevitably decreases as competition heats up. This all adds up to a rosy future for mobile TV adoption if these early signals are correct. Stay tuned.

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