01.05.2010 09:15 AM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Local will drive live free-to-air mobile TV, according to OMVC

It seems that "standalone micro-channels" of the "fully immersive interactive story-verse" has yet to supplant young adults' interest in the real world, contrary to the pundits. Last month, the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) released a new study showing that mobile subscribers are generally very interested in broadcast mobile TV for breaking local news and emergency alerts, and young adults even more so: nearly 90 percent are interested in watching local news on mobile.

Some 88 percent of respondents to Magid Media Labs' survey of 1000 U.S. adults are interested in watching TV on mobile devices including laptops, netbooks, cellular handsets and smartphones. An interesting piece of data is that twice as many young adults (18-29) are interested in watching mobile local news as watch daily news on conventional TV sets.

“The results of this new national survey may surprise some, but not local broadcasters. Online adults say that live broadcast TV programming is crucial, with more than half the respondents saying they want access to live, local broadcasts. And nearly half of those surveyed also say they are interested in buying a new portable device with the capability to receive Mobile DTV from over-the-air local stations,” said OMVC president and ION Media Network CEO Brandon Burgess.

At the same time, while consumers are interested in mobile TV, they're not interested in paying a premium for it. That's the report from mobile TV receiver company Mirics Semiconductor, which commissioned a survey by ABI Research of 1000 adults in the USA, UK and Japan who regularly use a mobile device such as a notebook computer or smartphone.

Global Positioning System (GPS) location-based services, Wi-Fi Internet connection and the ability to receive live TV topped subscribers' wish lists. However, when asked what they would be prepared to pay for a new device with these capabilities, the leading response — 40 percent of those surveyed — was nothing. A mere16 percent of respondents would pay up to $25.

"This reveals the pressure on portable CE device manufacturers to deliver converged functionality without raising costs,” observed ABI Research mobile device director Kevin Burden. For a copy of the report, e-mail Mirics@pinnaclemarcom.com.

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