The iPhone Could Kill The Mobile Streaming Video MarketThe iPhone Could Kill The Mobile Streaming Video Market
Get ready for this week's edition of the analyst hockey stick. According to the latest report from Research and Markets, the U.S. market for paid mobile video services is just bustin' at the seams, with <a href="http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20070614005386&newsLang=en">growth expected to go from $180 million in 2006 to $10.2 billion in 2012</a>. Are they serious?
June 14, 2007
Get ready for this week's edition of the analyst hockey stick. According to the latest report from Research and Markets, the U.S. market for paid mobile video services is just bustin' at the seams, with growth expected to go from $180 million in 2006 to $10.2 billion in 2012. Are they serious?Mobile streaming video is still very much in its infancy. Back in March, I covered a Mobile Monday meeting dedicated to just this topic. While there are a lot of cool services out there -- and many been available for over two years now -- user uptake hasn't been that impressive. Mobile streaming video has a lot of challenges, including the latency inherent in wireless network connections (including 3G networks), not to mention the limited screen sizes of most cell phones. In short, streaming mobile streaming video has a big uphill climb even with the proliferation of both 3G and better phones.
Many boosters for mobile video have blamed the poor usability of most mobile video services. But as I pointed out earlier: Contrary to what mobile video cynics like yours truly have claimed in times past, the Useable Products study found that all three mobile video services were in fact OK in terms of basic usability. Not great, but certainly better than many insiders claim. The services all have a lot of work ahead of them, but for now, most of the users were able to access the services. So if the services are actually usable and use is still challenging, what does that say about the long term potential of this technology? And now we have the iPhone, which will sport the full functionality of a video iPod. The problem is, video in the iPod ecosystem is a download, not a stream. And based on what we know of the iPhone, video there will also be downloaded, not streamed. Assuming the iPhone explodes, I think it will prove the power of downloaded video on smartphones, but it will spell the end of the mobile streaming video market. What do you think? Will the iPhone kill the mobile streaming video market?
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