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Demand for Mobile Video Rising

Dawn Anfuso
Demand for Mobile Video Rising Dawn Anfuso

M:Metrics, the authority on the consumption of mobile content and applications, reports that although only one percent of mobile subscribers viewed video on their phones in September, there is pent-up demand for the service.

According to M:Metrics' monthly Benchmark Survey, 6.1 million mobile subscribers said they were likely to view mobile video in the coming year. In comparison, 5.3 million downloaded a mobile game in September.

"The fact that more people intend to watch mobile video than the number who are downloading games today is very encouraging for this market," comments Mark Donovan, vice president, products and senior analyst, M:Metrics. "Mobile video is still very much an early adopter phenomenon, with males under 35 demonstrating the highest propensity to have used it. However, the key enablers of this market -- high speed networks, video-enabled devices and a widening array of video content options -- are moving into place. A key question is whether we'll see video move from being a lucrative niche application into a truly mainstream phenomenon."

There are 39.4 million Americans with multimedia-enabled phones, and M:Metrics has found that ownership of devices with a native video player has more than doubled since January of this year.

Those who do tune into mobile video do so regularly. Twenty seven percent of the 1.6 million subscribers who accessed a short video clip in September did so at least once per week, and 51 percent of the 1.4 million subscribers who viewed streaming video accessed it multiple times throughout the month. About 10 percent of mobile subscribers said they were likely to view a TV or video clip in the coming year, and 6.5 percent expressed interest in subscribing to a live TV service.

"The data indicates that people are curious about mobile video and have the phones that are capable of delivering it to them," says Donovan. "The challenge for the industry now becomes one of raising consumer awareness of mobile video and ensuring that programming is packaged and priced in a compelling way."

M:Metrics measures the monthly consumption of mobile content and applications. The results of its October Benchmark Survey are depicted in the table below.

US Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications M:Metrics Benchmark Survey: September 2005

Projected Monthly Reach (000)s
Percent US Mobile Subscribers
Sent or Received Text Message
Retrieved News and Information Via Browser
Purchased Ringtone
Used Photo Messaging
Used Personal E-mail
Used Mobile Instant Mesenger
Used Work E-Mail
Purchased Wallpaper or Screensaver
Downloaded Mobile Game

Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright 2005. Survey of U.S. mobile subscribers. Data based on the month of September 30, 2005, n= 13,398. Note that due to a change in measurement definitions, month to month changes cannot be computed using our previously reported Benchmark data.


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