The future of mobile TV: it's time to change your game

Staff writer

It’s no secret that video will be the key driver of mobile broadband traffic in the coming years. What’s less widely appreciated is that it won’t be video as we know it.

The game of television is changing, and changing fast. More to the point, it’s changing within the context of an increasingly mobile and highly networked society. According to Ericsson, there will be at least 50 billion connected devices by 2020, 15 billion of which will be capable of offering video. And by then, the global TV landscape will include nine billion people, over eight billion mobile broadband subscriptions and 1.5 billion homes with digital television, with analog almost history.

“The inevitable convergence of entertainment with mobile broadband will radically change perceptions of what TV is, what it will become and how the landscape will need to adapt in order to respond to the changes, opportunities and challenges presented,” says Gokula Krishnan Subramaniam, VP and head of TV & Media Practice, South East Asia & Oceania, at Ericsson.

As such, cellcos that want to maximize their ability to make money from all that video traffic need to understand the ways in which the TV/media landscape is shifting. And they need to start now, because 2020 isn’t a far-off futuristic-sounding date – it’s less than six years away.

Changing behaviors

Moreover, the shifts are already happening. According to Ericsson’s latest ConsumerLab study, 72% of consumers use mobile devices at least weekly for video viewing; 42% do it outside the home. TV is also becoming a multiscreen and multitasking activity, with 75% of users using mobile devices while watching TV while one in four watch multiple video sources at the same time. User-generated content is becoming increasingly important – not just for entertainment, but also for education, how-to guides and watching product reviews. And consumers also want pick-and-mix à la carte TV offerings.

What they’re currently getting, however, is a different animal, Gokula adds. “The consumer TV experience remains fragmented and can be frustrating. Consumers use numerous video services to find content and switch between multiple devices with varying content viewing abilities. What they want is one personalized, seamlessly integrated experience: multimedia anytime, anywhere and on any device. They also expect to be able to easily share.”
 

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