Survey Forecasts Mobile DTV Demand

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ALPHARETTA, GA.— American consumers are on the fence about their desire for a free or subscription-based Mobile DTV service that delivers content to handheld and in-vehicle tuners even when the tuner is in motion, an online survey by MarketSource found.

MarketSource, a market research company and provider of integrated sales and market services, conducted the nationwide online survey exclusively for TWICE. The company compiled responses from 387 adults, yielding a sample size considered statistically robust to provide a significance level of +5 at a 95 percent confidence interval, Market- Source said.

A total of 24 percent of surveyed adults who don’t own a Mobile DTV product said they would definitely or likely buy a Mobile DTV that receives free content from local TV stations, according to the survey. The Mobile DTV product could be a dedicated handheld, tunerequipped cellphone, tuner-equipped portable DVD player, or installed in-vehicle car TV system.

A total of 16 percent of surveyed adults who don’t own a Mobile DTV tuner said they would definitely or likely buy a Mobile DTV tuner that receives a subscription- based service. The type of tuner could be any of the above as well as an add-on tuner, like one planned by the FLO TV subscription service, that turns a smartphone into a Mobile DTV tuner.

On a scale of one to five, with five indicating a definite intent to buy, consumers on average expressed a 2.4 interest level in Mobile DTV products that receive free content, MarketSource found. Interest levels slipped to an average 2.2 for subscription-based products. A rating of two represents an unlikely intent to buy. A rating of three indicates the respondent is neither likely nor unlikely to buy.

Also found in the survey:

• Portable handheld solutions such as dedicated handheld tuners, tunerequipped portable DVD players, and adapters that turn smartphones into mobile TVs are in higher demand than installed in-vehicle tuners.

• Perhaps not surprisingly, more people are likely to buy a Mobile DTV product that receives free local-station broadcasts instead of national TV channels frequently available through cable and satellite-TV operators.

• On average, consumers will pay slightly more when a Mobile DTV product is offered with free local-TV service than with a subscription service.

In measuring overall demand, Market- Source found that demand for all types of Mobile DTV products is higher for free-TV versions. Thirty-three percent of surveyed consumers, for example, said they would definitely or likely buy a portable DVD player with embedded free- TV tuner, while only 15 percent said the same for a portable DVD player with subscription- TV tuner. The difference in demand is lower for other types of Mobile DTV products. For handheld DTVs, for example, 16 percent of the surveyed consumers said they would definitely or likely but a handheld model that receives free broadcasts, while only 11 percent said they’d definitely or likely buy a subscription-based handheld TV.

In measuring demand by price point, MarketSource found that for a dedicated handheld TV that receives free TV broadcasts, the sweet spot is $99 to $149. Of consumers who said they will likely or defi nitely purchase a dedicated handheld TV or who are neither likely nor unlikely to buy one (neutral), 65 percent would pay from $99 to $149. A total of 57 percent of likely/definitely/neutral adults would be willing to pay $99 to $149 for a cellphone with embedded free- DTV TV tuner.

For an installed in-vehicle tuner that receives free broadcasts, the sweet spot is $399 to $499. Forty-three percent of consumers who said they would definitely or likely buy such a product or who were neutral said they would pay $399 to $499 for a tuner that connects to an existing in-vehicle video system. Still, 48 percent thought any price at $399 and up was too high.

For a complete in-vehicle video system with included free-TV tuner, 21 percent of likely/definitely/neutral consumers said they’d be willing to pay $999, but 66 percent thought any price at that level or above is too high.

For products receiving subscription broadcasts, 63 percent of consumers would pay from $99 to $149 for a dedicated handheld TV. Again, that percentage is based on consumers who would definitely or likely buy such a product or who were neutral.

Almost three-fourths of consumers who said they would definitely or likely buy a cellphone with embedded subscription- DTV tuner, or who were neutral, said they would pay $99 to $199 for the product. Forty-six percent of definitely/ likely/neutral consumers would pay $399 to $499 for an installed tuner that connects to an existing in-vehicle A/V system, though 42 percent said any price from $399 on up is too high. Only 20 percent would pay $999 for a complete invehicle A/V system with Mobile DTV tuner, with 65 percent saying any price starting at $999 is too high for them.

As for what consumers would pay for a subscription-based Mobile DTV service, MarketSource found the most demand is for a $5.99 monthly fee. Of consumers who would definitely or likely buy a subscription- based Mobile DTV, or who were neutral, 48 percent said $5.99/month is a good price to pay. Another 14 percent said $9.99/month is the right price; 13 percent said $14.99; and 25 percent said $19.99.

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