Mott MacDonald Schema, a UK based independent management consultancy advising the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industries, has found 95% of British mobile phone users have not accessed mobile TV and less than 1% use it more than once a month. The findings are from the consultancy's commissioned research by Ipsos MORI.
Mott MacDonald Schema believes that the low take up and limited use of mobile TV can be turned around, estimating that mobile TV could be popular in two years. However, the mobile industry will need to overcome issues such as providing consumers with engaging content, suitable handsets, affordable packages, the scarcity of spectrum and uncertainty around the competing delivery technologies such as DVB-H, T-DMB, Media Flo, 3G MBMS/TDD and DVB-SH. The research, among a nationally representative sample of 990 British adults aged 15+, found that:
- Nearly two thirds of mobile phone users who have never tried to access mobile TV say it's because they have no interest
- 2% of mobile phone users have accessed mobile TV once, and 3% use it once a month or less
- Of those mobile phone users who have tried to access mobile TV, 19% find it too expensive and 13% say the screen is too small
- Sports and news, followed by music videos and soaps are the highest rated types of content which would make consumers watch mobile TV
- The propensity to watch mobile TV is highest amongst those aged from 15 to 24 years old - 15% of mobile phone users in this age group have accessed mobile TV at least once, whereas the corresponding figure for all mobile phone users is just 5%.
Annoula Peppas, senior media consultant, is positive about mobile TV. "If the major broadcasters and mobile operators actively market appealing, affordable content packages around known brands, they can drive the take up of mobile TV. The key will be a mix of familiar linear TV programmes plus on demand and innovative, made for mobile content.
"The most popular genres from early mobile TV launches abroad are sports; cult shows/soaps; popular music; and user generated, echoed by our consumer research. Annoula continues, "Pricing needs to be bundled with existing spend on media and communications and include a mix of subscription, free and pay per view options. Mobile devices should have large screens and simple navigation to make them more suitable for mobile TV.
"So far mobile operators and broadcasters have just been testing the water offering limited content with little or no marketing push. This combined with significant handset constraints, for the majority of users, often results in an unsatisfying user experience.
"Leading industry players from broadcasting, mobile communications and handset manufacturing need to collaborate and actively push mobile TV as part of a complete, converged media offering. Working together, they should quickly resolve issues linked to technology, spectrum availability, content rights, handsets, advertising and payment models.
"In a couple of years we could see the real take off of mobile TV and significant revenue streams."