Findings from a comprehensive study reveal that Mobile Digital Television will play an important role in the lives of consumers because it offers the convenience, simplicity and immediacy of live broadcast TV on a variety of portable electronic devices.
The study, commissioned by the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) – a voluntary association of television broadcasters whose mission is to accelerate the development of mobile digital television in the United States – described four major usage scenarios that encapsulated consumer reactions to viewing live local TV on portable devices. Those scenarios include:
“This study, derived from OMVC’s Consumer Showcase in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, clearly demonstrates that local television stations are in a unique position to deliver live news, emergency alerts, sports and popular entertainment programmes to smartphones and tablets without clogging cellular networks or requiring viewers to rack up expensive data bills,” said Anne P Schelle, executive director of the OMVC.
With broadcasters poised to launch commercial Mobile DTV service in markets throughout the US, the OMVC re-examined data from the Consumer Showcase and identified additional insights related to the key use cases and target audiences for the service.
“The data also showed Mobile DTV viewing was primarily in addition to and complementary with traditional TV viewing,” explained Schelle. “The majority of mobile viewing occurred in the daytime, in contrast to traditional evening viewing on home TVs,” she added.
According to the research, households with children had numerous occasions to use and benefit from the Mobile DTV service. Their frenetic and multitasking lifestyles seemed especially well suited for the Mobile DTV viewing experience. Whether they wanted to stay connected to news while commuting to work, be entertained during their lunch break, keep their children occupied while running errands or have a secondary TV in the kitchen while preparing a meal, families discovered useful ways to incorporate Mobile DTV into their busy lives.
Viewership data collected and analysed by Rentrak shows the heaviest Mobile DTV viewers (top 33 per cent) had the highest percentage of children living at home, while the lightest viewers (bottom 33 per cent) had the lowest percentage.
“While the summer 2010 OMVC Consumer Showcase did not specifically address tablet devices, other research suggests that the use cases and viewing patterns observed from netbooks will likely also be seen with tablets,” Schelle explained. “According to a 2011 survey of tablet users by Google AdMob, 82 per cent of respondents said they primarily used their tablet while at home. With the majority of tablet sales consisting of Wi-Fi-only devices, Mobile DTV has the potential to extend the connectivity and functionality of tablets outside of Wi-Fi hot spots,” she added.