Mobile TV service in India is growing with a potential market size that will touch $360 million in 2008, this was revealed by a survey on ‘Mobile TV in India’, which was conducted by Springboard Research, an IT market research and advisory firm. Mobile TV technology allows people to view regular TV content on their mobile phones or other mobile devices that they can get through traditional cable or pay TV subscriptions at home.
The survey, ‘Mobile TV in India: Understanding the Mobile Entertainment needs of Indian users’, was conducted in six major cities across the country, where over 1,215 mobile users took part. According to the research report, mobile TV subscription could reach the penetration level of 5-6 per cent of the total subscriber base in India in the first year of operations in the country.
The survey result also showed that 84 per cent of mobile phone users are interested in using mobile TV service, provided they are commonly available and affordable at the same time. Nearly 60 per cent of the same cluster of people preferred watching the same content that they got on TV, including news, sports, music videos and game shows.
Ravi Shekkar Pandey, Manager-Syndicate Research, Springboard Research, said, “Mobile TV marries the two dominant consumption trends of entertainment and mobile telephony in India. The market is ripe for the launch of mobile TV services and we believe that India will have around 122 million mobile TV subscribers within the first year of launch of the service.”
“A majority of mobile users in India are interested in trying out mobile TV and would invest in new handsets for using the service. This willingness is definitely a positive sign for those considering offering mobile TV in one of the world’s largest and fastest growing mobile service market,” added Pandey.
At present, only Doordarshan is offering mobile TV service, but with limited access. Other companies like Nokia, Spice Telecom, Qualcomm and Samsung are promoting the adoption of mobile TV in India. The report also adds that recently the market had seen increased activities in technology provision, network equipment vendors and mobile service providers.
Pandey said, “Mobile telephone operators will have an advantage over standalone mobile TV operators in that the former already have user subscribing to their value-added services. However, the success of either operator would be dependent on content offered and price charged for the service.”
Springboard Research, as part of the report, has recommended that service providers should offer on-demand, pay-per-view option, but without tying the user to a monthly subscription for mobile TV. They also recommended close cooperation between mobile operators and broadcasters for a profitable business model for mobile TV service in India.