Smartphone Users Want Mobile TV

Consumers want to see news, entertainment, and sports shows on their smartphones and mobile devices.
With mobile TV offerings still struggling to find traction, a new study of mobile computing and phone users finds that consumers are poised to watch video on small screens, with a preponderance of consumers wanting news and local news in particular.

Announced this week by the Open Mobile Video Coalition, the survey of 1,007 respondents between the ages of 18 and 59 found most early adopters were male -- 65% -- and young, between 18 and 29.

While respondents that view or plan to view video use different devices ranging from notebooks and laptops to smartphones and conventional mobile phones, smartphone users seemed to be most ready to embrace video on their devices.

"Smartphone penetration will reach 50% quickly," said Jaime Spencer, director of Magid Media Labs, which conducted the survey for OMVC. "Smartphone users are mobile super-consumers. The smartphone is like a catalyst: People who get them become more than device owners. They adopt a mobile lifestyle. Live mobile DTV fits very nicely into that mobile lifestyle."

The mobile video landscape is currently as chaotic as it is embryonic. Consumers can get video on their mobile devices from carriers, over the Web, or from independent providers. The survey found that the idea of watching video on a mobile device was "appealing" to 46% of the respondents. Among those interested in watching mobile video, 88% said they were most interested in viewing local news and information content.

Other high categories of interest were for entertainment programming (65%) and sports (44%). Respondents with children under 18 said they would permit the kids to watch mobile video in cars (31%). But just 10% said they would give a mobile device to children at home.

"The mobile landscape is exploding, yet we don't see a clear leader in that space," said Spencer. "This is especially true for the local picture. We believe that broadcasters have the opportunity to own this platform locally, but they need to be aggressive and have content that will drive use."

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