Mobile Phone Video Hits Roadblocks19 May, 2005 By: Holly J. Wagner
There's good news and bad news for the mobile video industry: Nearly half of online consumers want to watch video on their cell phones, but fewer than 20 percent are willing to pay for it.
That's the word from Jupiter Research in its newly released report, “Video on Cell Phones: It's Real In 2005, But a Paying Consumer Audience Isn't.”
The survey found that 44 percent of online consumers are interested in viewing video on their cell phones for free, but only 19 percent said they would be willing to pay.
Jupiter found that the lack of network coverage, high prices for handsets and service, and limited access to real-time content will dampen consumer interest in the short term.
“Although consumer interest in mobile video is strong, the cell phone will remain a voice-centric device in the near term,” said Julie Ask, research director at Jupiter Research. “Only 4 percent of consumers cited the ability to watch video as a priority feature for them when purchasing their next handset.”
Jupiter's research tracks with other analysts' findings about video phones.
An In-Stat report found that among early technology adopters, fewer than 9 percent of respondents were very or extremely interested in buying a cell phone capable of playing MP3 or other music files, and less than 11 percent were very or extremely interested in broadcast TV functionality.
“Cell phone manufacturers, carriers and content providers face serious challenges in convincing these end users of the benefits of music- or video-centric phones,” said In-Stat analyst Neil Strother.
The report, “Warning: Early-Adopters Have Lukewarm Response to Multimedia Handsets,” covers what end users think about TV on cell phones, storage capacity for music and video files, payment schemes and video content preferences.
Finally, an analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “U.S. Mobile Video Services Market,” found that service revenue in the mobile video market totaled $28.8 million in 2004 and is projected to grow — but not without overcoming some hurdles.
Existing rights assignments to established distributors in various countries and regions may make it tough to get amendments for content aggregators, the study found.