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More than one in five (21%) US adults who have cellphones or personal digital assistants (PDAs) are currently interested in watching live TV on these mobile devices, according to (pdf) recently released data from Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI).

This number rises, however, among consumers who view their cellphone as a source of entertainment. For instance, the study found that nearly half (47%) of adults who see their mobile phone as a source of entertainment report they are interested in watching live TV on mobile devices:

mri-consumers-mobile-opinions-interest-watching-tv-cell-phone-april-2009.jpg

Willingness to Subscribe

The data also reveal that consumers who view their cellphone as an entertainment source are more likely to say they will pay monthly fees for TV service on their mobile device. While 13.5% of the total adult population who have such devices say they would pay a monthly subscription fee to receive live TV on their cell or PDA, 34.5% of those who see their cellphones as sources of entertainment say they would be willing to do so.

Cellphone Ads Universally Annoying

When presented with the statement, “advertisements on cell phones and PDAs are annoying,” the study found that more than two thirds ( 70.5%) of adults agreed. For this question, there was not much difference between those who look to their cellphones for entertainment and those who don’t. Virtually the same percentage (71.5%) of consumers who see cellphones as entertainment sources find ads annoying.

When asked whether they would accept ads in return for lower monthly bills for mobile devices, 25% of consumers agreed that they would. Those who view their devices as entertainment, however, are more likely to be receptive to viewing ads in exchange for lower monthly bills.? Some 47.5% of this group was open to this exchange.

“These findings speak to the benefit of targeting consumers according to their psychographic mindsets rather than solely on their demographics,” said Anne Marie Kelly, SVP, marketing and strategic planning, at MRI. “Those who see their phones as a source of entertainment are clearly even more of a ‘sweet spot’ for this service. On the other hand, mobile advertising, which most forecasters agree will grow significantly in the coming years, will share the challenge all marketers face – how to engage ad-resistant viewers with their advertisements.”

An earlier study conducted by AT&T in connection with sports programming found a much higher number of Americans – seven in 10 – keen to watch live TV on a mobile device.

About the data: The data is part of MRI’s national Survey of the American Consumer, which? includes usage and attitudinal questions particular to cellular/mobile phones and PDAs.

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