Poll: Mobile TV Gets Zapped

The ability to use your trusty cellphone to catch up with the residents of Springfield is unlikely to prove the industry’s next great revenue spinner, according to the results of Unstrung’s latest poll: Mobile TV: Switched On?

Despite the recent launch of mobile TV services by Orange UK (London: OGE) helping to strengthen hype surrounding the deployment of broadcast services over cellphones, it seems that potential customers are unwilling to dig too deep in their pockets for such viewing pleasure (see Orange Launches MobiTV).

A combined total of 84 percent of the 243 respondents are reluctant to spend more than $10 a month in order to view mobile TV services. Of this number, 40 percent argue that such services should be free and included in their monthly tariff package, whilst a further 44 percent believe a price of “less than $10 a month” is a reasonable expense. Only 14 percent would be happy to part with “between $10 and $25.”

As to whether the concept of mobile TV services actually has a potential mass market audience, the majority of readers (59 percent) claim the technology is “an interesting niche application that will please the gadget geeks.”

A quarter of our more goggle-eyes readers reckon the idea is “awesome,” leaving the remainder -- a recalcitrant 16 percent -- to proclaim that “consumers won’t be interested... that screen is just waaaay too small.”

Key to driving demand for mobile TV services will be a “wide range of relevant and suitable content,” according to 40 percent of readers. An abundant supply of compatible handsets that don’t suck battery life is next up with 28 percent of the vote, followed by the provision of “bandwidth, bandwidth, and more bandwidth” (27 percent). Only 5 percent of readers expect the issue of content copyright and Digital Rights Management to be a major stumbling block.

Unsurprisingly, demand for mobile TV services is deemed to be greatest in Asia/Pacific, with the tech-loving region dominating 70 percent of the vote. North America trails in second place with 14 percent, followed by Europe at 9 percent.

And while we’re on the subject of hype, this month’s poll is focused on another industry bandwagon: Mobile WiMax. Jump on board here.

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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