Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mobile TV Market Forecast Roundup - Take 2

A few months ago, I posted an item which summarized the results of several mobile TV market research reports. In the past few weeks, we have been flooded again by numerous market research reports describing the current status and the future prospects of Mobile TV. And yet again, the numbers and opinions are highly varied, ranging from total lack of interest in this service to full-blown, mass-market user adoption.

Most optimistic of all is IMS Research, which forecasted that 446 million people will be watching TV on their cell phones by 2011. This forecast was characterized by Digital-Lifestyles as over-optimistic, in their post "446m Mobile Phones TV User By 2011? We Consider", and was also challenged by TelecomWeb's Wireless Business Forecast, with the headline "446M Mobile-TV Viewers By 2011: Who Makes These Numbers?". Juniper Research also joined the optimistic camp, forecasting $11.7B worldwide revenues for Mobile TV, lead by the US and Japan.

On the more pessimistic side, a poll by the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg found that only 14% of young adults and teenagers in the US were interested in watching TV on their cellular phones. This directly contradicts a recent market research by Quaestor, which found that 87% of 10-12 year old children in the UK would like to watch TV on their cellular phones - is the cultural difference that big?

Still in the UK, Paul Trotter posted a column in PC Pro stating "Mobile TV is heading for a fall". IDC is somewhere in the middle: On one hand, it issued a press release titled "No Clear Demand for Mobile TV in Western Europe", and on the other hand a Cellular News item titled "Substantial Market Expansion for Mobile TV Services" quotes IDC's forecast for 24M mobile TV and video users in the USA by 2010, up from 7M this year.