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EDITORIAL: Mobile TV/Video survey results

Story added: 02 Jan 2007 23:15. Last updated: 02 Jan 2007 23:19.

The results are in and there may be a few surprises for the mobile execs out there.

For the last month or so, we've been running a survey with Player X to help find out a little more about what you actually use your phone for apart from playing games and maybe making the occasional phone call.

Everyone knows how successful that little camera phone has become. Taking your own mobile videos and pictures has revolutionised photography but how many of you actually care enough to download somebody else??????s video content? We asked a very broad question, so we're not talking necessarily YouTube or a particular mobisode just a video in general. 73% of you said that they hadn't downloaded any video content. The remaining 27% are probably on the 3 network or don't worry about data charges.

To follow this up we asked whether you had watched Mobile TV and given the small number of handsets that can actually watch mobile TV, the 11% that said yes represents quite a high proportion. Delving a little deeper into the subject matter, the results showed that 51% wouldn't consider watching TV on their phone because it's rubbish (the TV not their phone). However there was 42% that planned to upgrade to a handset with TV capabilities. And that left 7% that are already subscribed to mobile TV channels although most of them are only subscribed to the free ones (who can blame them really).

As you might expect, everybody likes something for nothing therefore advertising must be the answer for the mobile TV industry. Imagine a world with adverts on BBC but no extortionate TV licence to pay for, surely we would jump at the chance if it meant free mobile TV? Well, almost two thirds of you (64%) think there are too many adverts in the world and presumably would rather pay a fee for watching mobile TV. Very strange indeed.

After feeling dizzy from our foray into mobile TV we turned our attention back to gaming. Everyone plays games, we knew that, but how many played for prizes or gambled for real money? About 23% were happy to play for prizes whether its reverse auctions or other raffle schemes but there was also a happy hardcore of 12% that have played for money on their mobile. Good luck to them, there are probably going to be more individual millionaires generated by mobile casinos than a Wednesday Lotto so they might as well get practising.

After feeling a little more confident (and in the mood for a little Apple bashing), the survey also posed the question of music on the mobile. Unsurprisingly, 57% listened to music on their mobile (and about half of them sit on my train every morning).

So what does all this prove? If anything it further compounds what a waste of money that the 3G licences were for the operators (especially with 4G around the corner), or rather it was poorly marketed and presented to the public. From the technological point of view, mobile TV is finally in a good position but the public have been burnt a few times before (especially during the World Cup) and it's going to take a lot of convincing to get them involved. The new handsets are naturally going to help but pricing is bound to problematic. The fact that advertising doesn't appeal to the public and that subscriptions are going to be required will surely give the industry an extra headache that it wasn't expecting.

Music on the mobile was always going to be a success as we have been used to portable music for the last 25 years. The mp3 format is a standard (of sorts) and whether you use an iPod or a Sony Walkman phone, the quality is comparable. When it comes to television, we are constantly bombarded with the benefits of HDTV and how big you can get an LCD screen for the magic price of ???899.99. To try and convince people to also think about TV on a little 2 inch screen with fairly poor quality is going to be tough at the moment, but not impossible if it??????s done right this time.

The survey was conducted via and covers over 800 individual entrants

Reporting by Costas Stephanides (Editor)

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