The report by market research firm Parks Associates found a majority of consumers with a video-capable mobile phone have never used the video features. For example, 56 per cent have never watched a video clip using a mobile phone. These low usage rates are discouraging for operators hoping to boost revenues through new TV and video services.
“Buy before you try is always a tough sell,” said John Barrett, Director of Research, Parks Associates “Most subscribers must pay additional money to watch video and mobile TV services, even once they have purchased an appropriate phone. This circumstance presents an obvious chicken-and-egg obstacle to adoption. Many consumers are hesitant to pay for a new, unfamiliar service, but they will remain unfamiliar with the service until they or someone they know uses it.”
The report predicts operators will overcome this challenge by offering more programming at no cost. “A free taste would go a long way in making the consumer case for mobile TV,” he said. “Mobile TV services have taken off in Japan and South Korea, where service is offered free of charge. In Italy, where additional fees have been the norm, usage has been limited. It’s in everyone’s interest to offer some free programming.”