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.