Mobile TV Revenues will Accelerate after 2012

June 28, 2010

Worldwide revenues from mobile TV services will begin accelerating in 2012, according to a new study from ABI Research.

Dramatic Growth Expected 2012-2015
“Mobile TV Services” indicates growth in worldwide adoption of and revenues from mobile TV services has been slow and steady since 2008, when global revenues from mobile TV services were less than $2.5 billion. This year, they are estimated to reach about $2.5 billion, and should reach closer to $3 billion in 2011.


However, in 2012, worldwide mobile TV revenues will approach $7 billion. This will kick off what ABI Research is forecasting as a dramatic growth spurt, with revenues exceeding $10 billion in 2013 and $15 billion in 2014 before reaching $20 billion in 2015.

Several Inhibiting Factors Expected to be Resolved
Several factors have hindered the widespread deployment and adoption of mobile cellular and broadcast TV services to date, according to ABI Research analysis. The three most important global market barriers have been the lack of free and simulcast local and national TV programs as a primer for fee-based premium content in most countries outside of Japan and South Korea, limited analog-to-digital TV transitions in most regions that would allow broadcasters to simulcast mobile and terrestrial TV services, and the inadequacy of 3G networks.

However, most developed countries will complete the transition from analog to digital by 2012 and the deployment of 4G networks over the next few years will enable a significantly improved mobile TV experience.

Fritz Jordan, principal analyst for ABI Research, said once the analog-to-digital TV conversion is complete, the barriers to entry for broadcasters will be low; with broadcasters leveraging existing content licenses and rights and invest just $100,000 or so per tower to provide mobile TV services.

In addition, Jordan said there will be a proliferation of mobile TV devices beyond cell phones. “Mobile consumers won’t be forced to go through a mobile operator and have to pay for voice, messaging, email and Internet plans first, just to get mobile TV,” said Jordan.

US Mobile Video Use Stays Flat
Recent data from The Nielsen Company supports ABI’s findings of slow current growth in mobile TV, at least in the US market. The Nielsen Three Screens Report indicates the average amount of time US mobile subscribers spent viewing video on a mobile phone per month remained flat in Q1 2009, Q4 2009 and Q1 2010 at three hours and 37 minutes.


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