Worldwide annual consumer spending on mobile broadcast TV services is expected to exceed $6.6bn by 2012, according to a new report from Juniper Research.
Nearly 120m mobile users in more than 40 countries are expected to receive broadcast TV services by 2012, compared to less than 12m in 2007, with DVB-H the dominant transmission standard. However, the report cautions that services face significant technological and regulatory hurdles both prior to launch and as they bid to build a critical mass of subscribers.
According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, "While the quasi-mandation of DVB-H by the European Commission is a huge boost to that standard, it does create uncertainty in the minds of those who might regard other technologies as more cost effective and might ultimately be counterproductive as a measure to promote mobile TV per se."
The report also stresses the need for regulators to make optimal UHF spectrum available as soon as is practicably possible, and for vendors to ensure that broadcast TV chipsets are rapidly introduced into a wide range of mass market handsets to facilitate adoption.
Holden added, "The key to the takeup of services such as SMS and, of applications such as cameraphones, has been their ubiquity: everyone can send an SMS, most people can now take a picture with their handset. If companies are serious about achieving widespread adoption of mobile TV, it is essential for chipsets to filter down very rapidly from top of the range handsets into the mass market models so that everyone has the opportunity, at least, to sample mobile TV services."
Juniper Research assesses the current and future status of the mobile tv market based on interviews, case studies and analysis from representatives of some of the leading organisations in the growing mobile tv industry.
Other findings from the report include:
* The US will be the largest single market for mobile broadcast TV services in 2012, followed by Japan and Italy
* Streamed TV packages will gradually evolve to complement mobile broadcast TV, functioning as an outlet for the "long tail" of minority viewing TV channels.
* Advertising will contribute an increasing proportion to overall mobile TV revenues, but in most cases will provide a supplementary revenue stream, with most services relying on both subscriptions and pay-per-view for the majority of revenues.