Yesterday Sarah Perez wrote an interesting article on the future of Mobile TV. With only 5% of cellphone owners in the U.S. subscribing to Mobile TV services and an even slimmer percentage doing the same outside of the US, I’d say Mobile TV is dead.
Disappointing Factors: Content & Quality
According to Nielsen, mobile video use isn’t more prevalent due to lack of differentiating capabilities, high cost, and lack of compelling content.
Unfortunately, all of these factors pose a problem for this market. However, to the average consumer the biggest factors may be compelling content and poor video quality.
Anyone remember why Joost had a hard time sustaining members that initially jumped on the bandwagon? Not enough compelling content was a major reason why I jumped off. Why is Youtube the King of Video? More than enough compelling content, with decent quality. It’s good enough for the average consumer and Youtube is now offering high quality video streaming too.
More Ads, More Screen Space, & Less Time
Says Nielsen, the expanded use of mobile web and mobile web video, an improved advertising subsidy to subscription-based streaming mobile video services, and the rollout of mobile digital television (mobile DTV) could combine to be mutually beneficial for carriers, device manufacturers, content providers, advertisers and consumers.
I’m sure no one wants to see more ads in their face let alone on their phones. Personally, I’m not going to watch TV on a 3” monitor. I’d rather just wait until I get home and watch it on TV or my laptop. I don’t know of too many other people who wouldn’t feel the same way.
It’s a dud market for many reasons. However, outside of teens and geeks, who really has time to watch TV on their phone? I sure don’t & some consider me to be a geek. I only have a select few videos on my iPhone that I rarely watch and I rarely use the Youtube app. Streaming takes entirely too long to load and the quality is almost always subpar. If people have this idea in their head when it comes to your average video, what would you expect them to think about mobile TV?
To be honest, mobile TV just isn’t as innovative and revolutionary as it sounds. Give me better content, better quality, a bigger screen (5” anyone?), and more hours in a day, and maybe we can work something out.