With the announcement of these impressive statistics, QuickPlay Media, the premier provider of mobile video solutions, is urging the mobile industry to build this mobile TV momentum beyond the Olympic Games.
Maintaining the Olympic standard
Despite wide scale adoption of 3G-capable mobile devices in the European market, consumer usage of mobile TV and video services remains low. These low adoption rates are illustrated by the results of a recent UK survey by QuickPlay Media, in which 44% of mobile phone owners indicated that they were not aware of mobile TV or video services being available to them. Of those that were aware, 33% indicated high cost as a key barrier to using the service. However, as the AT&T experience demonstrates, if a mobile operator offers content that is of high interest to its customers, prices it attractively and then promotes this effectively, service adoption will visibly rise. This rule is true for accessing content as part of a bundled package, such as AT&T’s, or as part of additional value-add services such as that offered by Bell Mobility for Olympic coverage in Canada.
In drawing content from the Olympic Games, AT&T leveraged a global brand recognised by millions, and provided compelling, entertaining content to attract a mainstream audience. The mobile industry must now follow this example and continue to work with big brands and global events to ensure that mobile content appeals to and is marketed at mainstream consumers.
With AT&T’s Olympic TV service, which is available to all customers on a bundled mobile TV package, users are made aware of the costs they are paying for upfront and what content they can access. As bundled packages enable a one-off monthly payment by the consumer, they provide a very transparent billing method which enables the user to access mobile TV or video services safe in the knowledge there will be no additional surprise costs on their monthly bill.
In Europe, these bundled data packages are becoming a common element of post-paid mobile contracts, but with an estimated 60% of owners on pre-pay tariffs, billing for mobile TV services is still unclear for most customers. Coupled with horror stories of enormous data bills, many are cautious and inclined to stay clear of mobile content services. Operators must therefore be smarter and transparent with billing to ensure customers feel ‘safe’ when using these services but also educate on what users can and can’t get within their packages.
In addition to bundled services, much has been made of the potential for ad-funded content to supplement saturated revenue streams and increase mobile TV adoption. Research from QuickPlay indicates that the consumer market is ready for ad-funded content if they receive a benefit in return, with 78% of mobile phone owners prepared to watch targeted advertisements for access to reduced rate video content on mobile. It has been established that a great percentage of mobile video is consumed on an ad-hoc basis when filling dead-time. To encourage potential users to snack on content, operators can use advertisements to offset the cost of viewing that content – a factor which can encourage consumer adoption.
There are many factors in increasing consumer awareness of mobile TV services in the public domain but if operators bear the above factors in mind, they will maintain and improve the impressive Olympic standard set this month.