Sunday, August 26, 2007

No love lost on mobile live tv in Holland

No less than 62 pct of the Dutch households are familiar with facility of watching live tv on mobiles. But only 6 pct of the mobile users are willing to use it. That is the result of Ernst & Young Mediabarometer, a quarterly survey about developments of the media- and entertainment market among 2000 respondents.

1 of the 5 respondents which have a mobile phone, has a UMTS/3G device and is able to view live television streams through internet. Of this group, however, almost half of the group (47 pct) does watch video scenes on the mobile occasionally. Especially they download or stream amateur movies, as can be seen on YouTube, and humour movies are popular. On average those people spend 15 minutes per session; non 3G users estimate that they will watch video on their mobile phone for 20 minutes. Of the group of mobile callers who do not have a 3G telephone, half indicate that they will view videos about news and sports on the mobile. However the picture of these wannahaves, does not stroke with the habits of present 3G users, as only 6 pct of the users will view live streams from television.

Of course one should be critical about this survey. The survey claims have 400 respondents with a 3G mobile and using this occasionally for 15 minutes for video. This number of users is very high and one can wonder whether this number is representative for the mobile population. Perhaps the panel existed of early adaptors.

This survey is no good news for broadcast companies, which think that they may have found a new outlet. On the other hand the broadcast companies should not be surprised. Standardisation was still in process. Early user research in 2005 by the Finnish mobile company Elisa, was not very encouraging. During this research the company found that television broadcasts were mainly viewed during the late night. The fact that live television programs have a fixed time programming time might be part of the problem. Of course, the costs might also pose a problem.

In Finland the mobile and broadcast companies still expect a lot of mobile television. There is a Finnish Mobile TV community, founded by Forum Virium Helsinki and some of the key players in the sector. The goal is to promote the creation of innovative and interactive content for mobile TV in cooperation with Finnish and international service developers. The two-year Finnish Mobile TV project was launched in November 2005. It was inspired by an extensive user pilot, launched with the goal of collecting information on the experiences of end users. The findings indicated that the users want more varied content for their mobile TV and are prepared to pay for the services. During 2006 the Finnish Mobile TV project supported service developers by providing DVB-H network capacity, and also started an active developer forum with opportunities to network. During 2007 the project will again focus on the end users of mobile TV, especially regarding consumer feedback on interactive services. Current participants in the project include: Digita, Elisa, City of Helsinki, IBM, MTV3, Nokia, SWelcom, TeliaSonera, Destia, TietoEnator, Veikkaus, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, WM-Data, YIT and the Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE. In addition to Forum Virium Helsinki, project funding is provided by the participating companies, while some individual projects also receive funding from public sources. The piloting activities in 2007 are partly funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.

Addition: August 27, 2007: I just read the blog Reiter's Mobile TV Report. It had a comment on mobile tv, taken from the British Ofcom Report: The 330–page Office of Communications’ (Ofcom) “Communications Market Report” (available in three sections plus summaries) didn’t devote much space to mobile TV, but the space it did devote indicated mobile TV is way, way down on cellular users’ consciousness and use.
Only ten percent of cellular users surveyed for the report were even aware their phone could play mobile TV. That’s the lowest percentage of awareness for the 13 features in the survey. But that’s a high percentage compared to those who actually watched any mobile TV — two percent.

Just notice that 62 percent of the Dutch people are aware of live tv on a mobile telephone. In the UK only 10 percent are aware of the facility.

Blog Posting Number 849


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