Mobile TV market to gain steam in 2012, says ABI Research

The company also predicts a slowdown in app downloads in the same time frame.

Worldwide adoption of mobile TV will gain momentum in 2012 through 2015, when total market revenues are forecast at more than $20 billion, predicted ABI Research. Principal analyst Fritz Jordan pointed out three major impediments that will be resolved: the lack of free and simulcast local/national TV programs as a primer for fee-based premium content; limited analog-to-digital TV transitions that would allow broadcasters to simulcast mobile and terrestrial TV services; and 3G mobile service that is inadequate for mobile TV.

Additional inhibiting factors include mobile broadcasting rights and mobile network operators with a lack of media industry experience. Jordan also noted the relative lack of devices ready to receive the U.S. broadcasters’ mobile DTV broadcast signal. But once the analog-to-digital TV conversion is complete, the barrier to entry for broadcasters will be low, approximately $100,000 per tower for mobile services. Jordan predicted an increase in the number of TV-centric mobile devices.

In another study, ABI Research said that app downloads will peak in 2012 to 2013 and begin a slow decline. Nonetheless, the number of apps is staggering. The research firm estimates that some 1.2 billion apps will be downloaded at the end of 2015.