Cellular Video Usage Growing Slowly: Survey

By Joseph Palenchar On Mar 27 2006 - 8:00am

Cellular subscribers' use of mobile TV and streaming video services is growing slowly but attracting a higher proportion of young adults and males, according to a Telephia survey.

About 3 million wireless subscribers in the United States streamed TV or played video content on their phone in the fourth quarter of 2005, representing only 1.5 percent of the year-end U.S. subscriber base, Telephia said. That's up slightly from 1.4 percent in early 2005. Younger subscribers between the ages of 18 to 24 had the highest year-end penetration rate, which almost doubled from the beginning of the year to 3.3 percent.

Men of any age were more likely than women to stream TV and play video content on their phone, posting a penetration rate of 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005. The female penetration rate was 1.2 percent.

The percentage of carrier revenues generated by mobile-video subscribers is higher than the penetrate rate of video users. Subscribers to Verizon's V CAST video service and to MobiTV, available through multiple carriers, spend about $40 more per month than non-video subscribers, Telephia found. During the fourth quarter, V CAST and MobiTV subscribers spent an average of $94 in total monthly charges compared to $54 for non-video subscribers.

“The revenue stream for mobile TV and video content is very strong and shows upward promise. The combination of price, quality, diversity of content and handsets capable of viewing content will be instrumental in the long-term growth,” said Kanishka Agarwal, Telephia's new products VP. “The key for providers is to be able to understand the needs of these individual groups and supply targeted content that they will pay for.”

U.S. Cellular Subscribers Using Mobile TV/Video Service
(Penetration Rate in %)
Q1 2005Q2 2005Q3 2005Q4 2005
All Subscribers1.4%1.4%1.4%1.5%
Youth (18-24)1.8%2.9%2.9%3.3%
Source: Telephia, San Francisco (www.telephia.com) ©TWICE 2006

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