Ubiqui.tv is a prototype online video travel guide for the Boxee platform. Ubiqui.tv was created by Joel Leimer, Oskar Von Hauske, Timothy Haynes, and myself as our group project for the ITP class Designing The Future of Television with Richard Ting.
Here are some juicy stats and research results I found while doing my homework for Designing The Future of TV:
13.4 million Americans watch some form of mobile video each month, and of those 13.4 million people, each watched an average of 3.5 hours of mobile video per month. By comparison, the average American watches 153 hours of TV per month. (Nielsen via Mashable, May 2009)
Also from Nielsen:
Except for the teenage years, viewing of traditional television increases with age; the use of video on the Internet peaks among young adults while viewing mobile video is highest in the teen years.
Men continue to watch video on mobile phones more than women, and women continue to watch video on the Internet and TV more than men.
In a 2007 international survey, a majority of all respondents agreed that “recommendations from friends had the most impact on the type of content they viewed over celebrity, amateur and professional endorsements.” (IBM via REELSEO)
According to a 2008 comScore study: on-demand video was the most popular mobile video format (compared to mobile broadcast), with 3.6 million viewers in the US. The report also gave a breakdown of the kinds of content mobile video users consumed:
Eyes Wide Open: Video Usage Up, More Watch Cross-Platform
Nielsen: Mobile Video Use Lags Behind
My team for Designing the Future of Television was inspired by the buzz around a potential Hulu iPhone App. There were reports that it was “coming soon” back in April, but still no app yet. There are some hurdles to the app’s release, such as the need for sign-off from Apple and AT&T. Also, according to comScore, only slightly more than 3% of mobile users watch video on their phones, so TV for mobile still has a long way to go. While iPhones have native support of watching YouTube videos, having the addition of Hulu would increase consumer choice to include a variety of commercial and longer form content.
We also checked out the AT&T Mobile TV service, but we were less inspired. AT&T’s service basically makes your cellphone a TV tuner for live TV. But you have to pay for it, unlike traditional broadcast (as opposed to cable) TV, which is free as long as you have the hardware. Also, we are less interested in watching live TV on my phone unless it’s breaking news or a sporting event. The whole point of mobile phones was to free us from the tether of our landlines, and the whole point of video on demand is to free us from the standardized schedules of broadcast. While landlines and live broadcast TV still have their place, we find the on-demand video of Hulu coupled with the placeshifting of a cellphones a compelling and inspirational direction for the future of television.
Week 1 of Designing the Future of TV at ITP:
1. Blog an example of an inspirational example of TV Placeshifting/Timeshifting
2. What is one future TV feature you would love to have right now. Why?
Here’s a TV placeshifting story: I remember summer of 2008, I was on a JetBlue flight from NYC to Phoenix. The Beijing Olympics were in full swing, and it seemed like everyone on the plane was watching the Games on their individual seat-back monitors. When Michael Phelps won yet another gold metal mid-flight, the airplane erupted in cheers and applause. All this in an airplane cabin 30,000 feet over some fly-over state cornfield. TV, it’s not just for the living room anymore.
There are a lot of future TV features that I would love to have, such as an easy way of notating TV, to easily add subtitles, “draw” over a video like in Photoshop, or to add my own commentary track. I would love to also be easily make mashups of TV programs from within the same program I use to view video, without the hassle of DRM or copyright restrictions. I would also love to be easily able to make a “mixtape” of video and TV and to be able to share it with friends, or to time/placeshift it for future viewing. I guess I can do it now, but I have to rip the video if it isn’t downloadable, then I have to put everything in iMovie or Final Cut or something, then re-export it. I want to be able to remix and mash up video in the same platform or application I use to watch it.