Mobile TV's second wind

Eden Zoller and Jonathan Doran/Ovum
23 May 2011
OvumThe rebirth of the mobile-TV space owes much to the evolution of devices, the growth of mobile broadband, and the rise of the application store business model. These changes are bringing about a diversity of content and service options as well as a mixture of business model possibilities.
When operators first launched mobile-TV and video services, they did so with ambitions to occupy a central role in the supply chain, controlling most aspects of content acquisition, management, service packaging, and delivery. The majority of telcos have stepped back from this position, realizing that they do not have the expertise, resources, or market standing to deliver on this vision. Instead they concentrate on content aggregation and packaging, which is the right way forward.
As the multi-screen paradigm becomes increasingly prevalent, mobile video distribution is becoming the business of pay-TV operators and content providers as well as web companies from outside the traditional TV or telco domains.
Satellite operators are proving particularly adept at using mobile to enhance their single-play TV propositions. Meanwhile, a multi-play cable- or telco-TV operator with capabilities in content delivery over multiple distribution channels can leverage its mobile operation to extend the reach of a pay-TV service.
Content providers are harnessing mobile delivery as a natural extension to their online distribution strategies, and developing mobile applications to provide easy access to their video offerings is becoming a priority for most. Premium content owners are extending traditional distribution networks by working with online aggregators such as Netflix and Hulu, which typically have strong multi-screen strategies. Some, particularly those holding sports content rights, are also developing D2C mobile video propositions alongside their existing delivery options.
Meanwhile, the push by adjacent players into TV and video will become more pronounced, with Google and Facebook showing particular promise. Going forward, Android handsets and tablets will likely serve as a third screen in Google’s proposed web-TV mix. Facebook is already a popular platform for viewing video content, particularly YouTube video, and we expect mobile to play a strong role in any future Facebook TV strategy.


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