ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

240M smartphone users will stream TV by 2014: study

Consumers are swapping out their television sets for mobile devices, according to a new study from Juniper Research.

In Juniper?s ?Mobile TV ? What?s On? report, the research company looked at how consumers are using their devices to access TV content. In addition, the study looked at how revenue and subscriptions will contribute to the rise of mobile TV.

?The main point for marketers is that mobile TV is growing in use and in just a few years, there will be a significant audience watching television content on a personal device,? said Charlotte Miller, research analyst at Juniper, Hampshire, Britain.

?To ignore this would be to ignore an opportunity to offer targeted advertising to TV viewers that can be immediately acted upon and tracked in a way that?s not possible for traditional TV advertising,? she said.

Mobile streaming
Tablets are well-suited for TV watching with large screens and high-resolution pictures. Although revenue from the devices might not grow quickly, tablets will slowly make up a piece of the revenue pie.

Almost ten percent of mobile TV revenue will come from tablets by 2016, per the report. Additionally, subscription-based models will make up the majority of mobile TV revenue.

To compare, the majority of revenue will come from smartphones. Revenue from feature phones will steadily phase out as consumers adopt more high-end devices.

?The market is still nascent and it is not surprising that marketers are shy of spending budget here when there are more established mobile advertising markets,? Ms. Miller said.

Tethered users
The digital TV industry has changed vastly over the past three years. In 2010, TV streaming was seen as experimental by broadcasters. Now, multiscreen and social TV is getting major attention from both networks and consumers. The spread of 3G and 4G connections have also contributed to the growth.

The study looked specifically at long-form mobile TV content, including half-hour and hour-long content.

In particular, streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix have been popular compared to live, on-air content that is broadcast to mobile devices.

As consumers use streaming services, they are making their own TV watching schedules, meaning that advertisers are challenged to find new ways to target consumers who might not be watching a program when it airs.

Smartphones are being used to watch short content while on the go, showing the opportunities that are available to marketers with quick, snack-sized mobile ads.

According to Juniper, the majority of broadcast mobile TV content will be from the Far East and China.

For on-air, live broadcasts, consumers are using services such as Slingbox that tethers a user?s satellite receiver, cable set-top box or DVR to a portable device to let users stream live TV to smartphones, tablets and laptops. However, this requires that all devices have a chipset, meaning that consumers are watching more TV content via Wi-Fi that is commonly available in places that consumers go during the day.

Additionally, the opportunities to tie a live, on-air program with a mobile device will be an area to watch in the near future, per Ms. Miller.

?I think what we will see is mobile TV being used alongside traditional television,? Ms. Miller said.

?Users will be following discussions on social networking sites or looking up information about the actors in the show and chances are they will be doing that from a central app,? she said.

?We will also see users of streamed mobile TV watching more of it so that by 2014, tablet viewers will be watching three hours a month.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York