Friday, March 24, 2006

Mobile TV Market Forecast Roundup

This week was characterized by numerous mobile TV market research reports pouring in, each providing their own take on the current and forecasted market size. Unfortunately, the market research firms still don't provide a clear definition of what they include in their mobile TV forecasts: Is it just broadcast mobile TV using DVB-H, T-DMB, ISDB-T or MediaFlo, or do the numbers also include TV steaming over cellular networks, TV episode downloads, etc. Anyway, you can be the judge of the figures below.

First are the highlights of an upcoming Telephia market research report on mobile TV and video, which were published by cellular news this week. According to Telephia's report, 3 million wireless subscribers in the USA (about 1.5% of the total subscribers) viewed TV or video content on their mobile devices in Q4 2005. The report also found that the ARPU for these subscribers is $94, $40 higher than the ARPU of all American subscribers which is $54. While these results seem quite promising, the report also found that the increase in mobile TV and video penetration from Q1 2005 to Q4 2005 was only 0.1%.

eMarketer is also on the positive side this week, announcing their new report titled "Mobile TV for Marketers: Monetizing the Smallest Screen". According to eMarketer, the number of 3G subscribers who watch broadcast TV on their phones will rise from 4.2 million this year to 13.9 million next year, eventually reaching over 100 million subscribers by 2009.

UK Business Intelligence firm Datamonitor took a more conservative view on the mobile broadcast TV market. In a report published this week, Datamonitor claims that the growth of the mobile broadcast TV market will be limited by several issues, including spectrum allocation, expensive handsets, standards fragmentation and the competition with 3G video services. Nevertheless, Datamonitor still predicts that 69 million subscribers to mobile broadcast TV services in 2009.

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