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Survey: Free-to-air mobile TV is next killer app

Posted: 01 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile TV survey? free-to-air TV? China market?

Telegent Systems' mobile TV survey found that the application has a significant impact on handset sales, with 85 percent of respondents stating that the primary influence driving their handset purchase decision was the built-in free-to-air TV feature, as opposed to screen size, camera, music capability or fashion.

The study, conducted in China where there are now more than three million users of free-to-air mobile TV, also revealed that free-to-air TV continues to be a compelling feature after purchase, with 74 percent of respondents watching television on their handset for thirty minutes or more at a time, and 54 percent watching five times a week.

"Mobile TV, when it provides consumers with access to the same live, familiar programming that they view and enjoy at home, is a highly attractive feature with continuing perceived value following purchase," said Weijie Yun, president and CEO of Telegent.

Increasing market
Consumers in survey not only integrated free-to-air mobile TV into their daily routine, but also found long-term value in the feature. At the time of handset purchase, 90 percent found the free-to-air TV feature interesting or useful, and this remained true after four to six months of use. 60 percent of users proactively recommended the feature to friends and family.

Almost half of those surveyed watched TV on their handset while traveling, with 43 percent watching at home and 17 percent while at the office. Mobile TV was found to be most popular between 7-8pm, followed by a morning commute peak of 7-9am, allowing operators and broadcasters to reach a broader audience in a variety of locations.

The survey also showed a marked increase in mobile TV consumption with a strong preference for long-form programming. 54 percent of users surveyed five months ago watched mobile TV for ten minutes at a time, whereas 74 percent of the respondents surveyed in 2008 watched mobile TV for thirty minutes or longer.

"Mobile TV uptake is significantly influenced by the content that consumers are able to view on their handsets," said Michelle Abraham, principal analyst at In-Stat. "The growing success of free-to-air mobile TV services suggests consumer preference for programs that are most like what people view at home."

Content, picture quality requirement
Telegent's survey also showed that key drivers for consumer awareness have been hands-on experience at the retail store (49 percent) and recommendations from friends and family (35 percent). More passive channels, such as TV and Internet, played a much less significant role, suggesting that personal experience with the TV feature either at or prior to the point of purchase has been key to spurring initial uptake.

Picture quality has also played a key role in market adoption, with 88 percent of respondents finding the quality acceptable. The consumers in the study who perceived quality as acceptable watched TV more frequently, for longer durations and were more likely to recommend the mobile TV feature to family and friends.

Telegent interviewed more than 400 consumers who purchased Telegent-enabled handsets, half of which were interviewed in February 2008, and the other half of which were interviewed between July and September of 2007.

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