TV Everywhere hits mainstream

Advanced Television
April  2012

Although tablets are driving increased at-home viewing and extended viewing time, smartphones still remain the primary device for mobile video consumption, according to QuickPlay Media, the provider of managed solutions for the distribution of premium video to IP-connected devices

The findings are featured in the annual independent Market Tools survey focused on mobile TV and video consumption in the United States. Conducted with current US mobile subscribers, the survey results show growing interest in multiscreen services, with the smartphone continuing to be the primary device for consumption of mobile video. However, tablets continue to drive extended viewing of long-form video entertainment.

The 2012 Market Tools survey found increased interest and adoption of mobile TV and multiscreen services with 57 per cent of respondents reporting that they are interested in a multiscreen video service, up from 48 per cent in 2011. Thirty-five per cent of respondents reported trying a mobile TV and/or video service, with 27 per cent of respondents reporting they currently use mobile TV and/or video services. Of the current users:

  • 72 per cent have been mobile TV and video users for a year or less; and
  • 81 per cent of users indicate that they watch more mobile TV and/or video on their mobile phone or tablet than a year ago.

In terms of viewing preferences, the survey showed a high level of usage and changing preferences for mobile programming. Forty-three per cent of current users consume mobile TV and video at least once per week with 23 per cent of users reporting daily usage. In addition:

  • 48 per cent of current users most often use the service at home, far more than other reported locations: ‘between activities’ (13 per cent), at work (10 per cent), while in transit (8 per cent) and while waiting in line (8 per cent).
  • 38 per cent of current users report TV episodes as their most frequently watched programming, followed by sports at 28 per cent and news at 19 per cent.
  • 51 per cent of current users expressed a preference for live programing for sports (30 per cent) and TV episodes (21 per cent), whereas 34 per cent prefer an on-demand format.

For those who currently use mobile TV and/or video services, 63 per cent use mobile phones and 33 per cent use tablets as their primary device for watching mobile video content. In addition:

  • 91 per cent of those respondents who own an iPad or similar tablet device have watched a TV programme or full-length movie on their tablet, up from 68 per cent in 2011; and
  • 75 per cent who are tablet owners who have viewed full-length content have a WiFi-only device, which is how most users indicated they access their mobile TV or video content.

Bundled services are the primary payment mechanism for mobile TV and video services with most respondents preferring subscription models to pay-per-use pricing models:

  • 51 per cent of those who currently use a mobile TV and/or video service pay for it as part of a service bundle from their provider;
  • 31 per cent of current mobile TV and/or video users report they pay an additional subscription fee for their service; and

Respondents in general prefer a subscription service (38 per cent) for mobile TV and video services (e.g. unlimited TV programmes for a set monthly fee) compared to a pay-per-episode (13 per cent) or a pay-per-season (5 per cent) payment model.

Cost is the primary barrier of usage for mobile TV and video services, according to those who haven’t tried a mobile TV/video service (32 per cent).

The study provided a clear indication of the growing role of Over-the-Top (OTT) providers as competitors to established mobile operators and TV service providers. When asked who they use as their primarily provider for mobile TV and video services 34 per cent report it is their OTT provider, 34 per cent report it is their TV service provider and 28 per cent of respondents report it is their mobile operator.

Other noteworthy results from the survey include:

  • Only 20 per cent of respondents recall viewing ads on their device while using a mobile TV and/or video service. 81 per cent of these respondents highlighted the lack of ad variety as they report seeing the same ads either played across the entire TV service (47 per cent) or across the individual channel (34 per cent).
  • 74 per cent of respondents are interested in viewing mobile TV and/or video channels that integrate social media such as Facebook or Twitter.

“As the market matures, consumers are increasing both their consumption of mobile video and the number of devices on which they access entertainment. This demand presents a significant opportunity for TV service providers to grow their customer base by offering multiscreen services in attractive bundles,” advised Wayne Purboo, president and CEO, QuickPlay Media. “However, to manage the complexities of delivering high volumes of content across a broad array of devices, we are seeing a growing number of providers looking for managed service options in order to do so securely and cost effectively.”


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