Mobile TV Interest and Usage Growing

A week ago Nielsen released its latest "three screen" report that seeks to capture usage trends concerning TV, online video and mobile video. Overwhelmingly traditional TV is where people spend most of their time consuming video. Here's the top line:

Americans consume media at a record pace – 129 hrs of TV, 27 hrs of Internet, 3 hrs of mobile video each month 

Nielsen says there are now almost 16 million people in the US watching video on mobile devices (this includes all types). Here are audience demographics for each platform:

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I remain extremely skeptical about consumer willingness to pay for mobile TV unless it's part of a bundle (either from the carrier or the cable company).

Separately Frank N. Magid Associates conducted a survey in November to determine interest in "live mobile television." The survey consisted of 1,007 respondents (18-59) and is reportedly representative of the US Internet user population. The survey explored a range of issues around programming content and the hypothetical business model.

Here are some of the charts (numbers below are %):

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These survey results show a very high degree of openness to watching ads on mobile video to subsidize costs. However there's a surprisingly high number (46% of smartphone owners that would pay for content). Here's the Magid comment about the findings:

Premium content also has potential, with more than one-third (36%) of respondents expressing interest in paying for premium content, such as recent movies, premium sporting events, etc. on a subscription or pay-per-view basis. Early adopters (61%), Adult Millennials (42%) and Smartphone owners (46%) are most interested in this content.

I believe that selected groups would pay for sporting events and movies on a per use basis. Those models are well established. I'm just quite a bit more skeptical that people would pay a cable-TV like subscription (unless nominal or bundled) for general "mobile TV."