The last few years have been anticlimactic for subscription mobile TV services, as optimistic marketing plans never came to fruition and several early service provider deployments were shut down.
However, In-Stat now anticipates a recovery in 2010, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region where cellular mobile TV subscriptions, which are frequently delivered over 3G networks, will reach nearly 95 million by 2014.
"Getting mobile subscribers to pay for TV services on their mobile devices has been daunting as users have clearly gravitated to free broadcast or Internet-based content on their phones," according to Frank Dickson, VP Research for In-Stat.
As a result, pay mobile TV results have been very disappointing, relegating cellular mobile TV to a niche service for early-adopters. However, niche services in cellular can still drive huge revenue.
As 3G subscribers grow, the total potential market for mobile TV providers could result in impressive market gains. For example, MobiTV subscriber growth and daily viewership for its mobile media service grew 49 percent from 2008 to 2009, for services priced at $9.99 a month in the U.S. market.
In-Stat's market study found the following:
- Cellular mobile TV subscribers will generate over $15 billion in subscription revenue by 2014.
- Asia-Pacific will drive mobile TV subscriptions, primarily in India and China.
- Latin America will see subscription growth of 800 percent in digital mobile subscribers in 2010.
- Mobile TV broadcasting standards remain fragmented by geographic region worldwide, with CMMB, ISDB-T (1seg), ATSC-M/H, DVB-H, MediafloFLO and DMB all experiencing limited deployments.