Mobile TV Is Dead, Long-Live Mobile Distribution

Almost from "day one" I've argued that subscription-based mobile TV was not going to happen: FLO TV, mobiTV (as a consumer play), mobile carrier TV and even the Fox-backed Bitbop are dead or effectively dead. People don't want to pay a separate fee to watch TV on mobile devices.

The exceptions are sports and some live events perhaps -- emphasis on perhaps. Outside the US markets are different and these observations may not equally apply.

People will watch video on mobile devices; that's growing and will continue to gain. The issue is the model. However, the "mobile TV" model has already shown itself: NetFlix, Hulu, Sling and maybe cable "TV anywhere" strategies.

This is really about mobile distribution of content that users already pay for; it's cloud-based TV that I access through my multiple screens: TV, iPad, handset. A small number of brands (and maybe cable) will own this market.

The carriers and independent companies seeking to break in would have to offer a one-price, similarly multi-platform strategy. Once I'm tied in to a service or a couple of services others are not going to be able to break in unless they can deliver a comparable experience for less money. And that's not likely because of the challenges of negotiating rights to content. 

The exception might be a joint network and/or studio effort like another Hulu. Anything else is a non-starter.