Robert Freeman's whole Media, Business and Technology thing. Sorted.

Mobile TV: we just won’t pay

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Make it free, or no one will watch

A survey featured in Business Week says what I’ve not so secretly been expecting for some time. Mobile TV users are a stingy lot.

Much-hyped operational trials (such as the DVB-H trial in Oxford a couple of years ago) have always ended with the operator judging that users will happily pay for the service.

Business Week is highlighting a report which says that users don’t want to pay anything like what the operators think they will, and to spur takeup, the services should be ad-supported and either much cheaper, or free.

I hope they’re not actually thinking they can begin to charge later on! Once a service goes free, it stays free. Look at web subscription models for general news and information. Oh you can’t, because there aren’t any anymore.

Here’s a RedHerring piece from the days of the Oxford mobile TV trial. Look toward the end and you’ll see that O2 were expecting consumers to pay £8-£10 a month for tv on the go.

I bet they’re rethinking that investment case now. It may not be worth bidding for the new spectrum, in which case OFCOM may as well let Big TV have some extra space so it can run a decent 21st century public television service on Freeview.

Otherwise Britain’s DTT ambitions might end up going the way of DAB.


Written by Robert

6 March, 2008 at 12:32 am

Posted in Business, Media, Mobile, Technology, tv

Tagged with ,

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