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Half of mobile customers want live, local TV on mobile devices

Nearly half of U.S. mobile customers say they welcome the ability to watch live DTV via a mobile device, according to the findings of a new study conducted by Magid Media Labs for the Open Mobile Video Coalition.

The findings, released Dec. 9, are presented in “The OMVC Mobile TV Study: Live, Local Programming Will Drive Demand for Mobile TV.” They show overwhelming interest in watching live, local news and weather while on the go, with 88 percent of those interested in mobile DTV saying they find both programming categories appealing.

According to the survey, younger consumers and early technology adopters are the most interested in mobile DTV, but, overall, there was significant interest among all demographic groups, with 46 percent of all respondents finding the prospect of watching on mobile devices appealing. Viewing entertainment programming and sports via mobile devices was also popular, with 65 percent expressing interest in the former and 44 percent in the latter.

“The mobile landscape is exploding, yet we don’t see a clear leader in that space. This is especially true for the local picture. We believe that broadcasters have the opportunity to own this platform locally, but they need to be aggressive and have content that will drive use. Live DTV is a great asset here,” said Jaime Spencer, director of Magid Media Labs.

Among the survey’s other key findings:

  • 47 percent said they are likely to consider buying a mobile device that lets them watch live TV when the devices become available;
  • 49 percent said they would watch commercials on a mobile TV device;
  • 51 percent said they wanted live TV to be part of the mobile DTV programming offering, compared to 18 percent who said they would be satisfied with a strictly on-demand model;
  • 31 percent would acquire a mobile device so their children could watch TV in the car; and
  • 10 percent would give the device to their child in the home.

The OMVC commissioned Frank N. Magid Associates’ Magid Media Labs to conduct the study, which was done in November. Magid Media Labs used a national sample of 1007 respondents ages 18 to 59.