Thursday, January 19, 2006

JupiterResearch: The O2 'Personal TV' Trial in Oxford

Thomas Husson posts at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs about the interim results from the O2/Arqiva/ Nokia mobile TV trial currently taking place in Oxford. Feedback includes:

  • Mike Short at O2 made a very interesting statement in his presentation : we should not talk of mobile TV but instead use the term 'personal TV'. I do agree the mobile phone is all about having your own TV experience, picking n' mixing the content you want to watch.
  • users are spending roughly 3 hours / week and 23 minutes / session. No doubt this is far from the 3.4 hours / day (current average use on the TV platform) but the results are extremly encouraging in comparison to current usage patterns on 3G (between 25 and 40 minutes / user / month)
  • 36% of users say they most frequently watch TV at home. Data I have from other trials under go are even higher, up to 50%.The reasons behind this are that people are using their mobile as a second display (when the home TV is already being used by another family member), that it is more convenient (a teen watching TV in his bedroom) and that the choice of channels (16 in the trial) is a way to discover new content. This is in line with current usage patterns for phone calls and mobile gaming. This has major cost implications when rolling out a mobile broadcast network : a good indoor coverage will simply be a minimum requirement.
  • 23% watch it at work or university during breaks
  • 21% in the bus (this is really specific to Oxford, but it means a tube coverage is of primary importance in a major city
  • 76% of users would take up the service within 12 months at an acceptable price. These figures have to be looked at very cautiously. Yes, there is obviously an interest for mobile TV, but does that mean people are really going to pay for it ?
Husson points out that in "the 02 trial, users are not paying any fee for mobile TV. So, obviously, when you get something for free, you are not likely to be as demanding as if you had spent your own money. A good evidence for that is that only 41% of users in the Finnish DVB-H pilot were willing to pay a fee for mobile TV. They had to pay 4,99 euros a month to use the service."

Interesting data points but the proof will come when pricing and content are set. The fact that it was a free trial negates some of the findings...