Is mobile the next television?

With online streaming of TV content & customisation, convenience provided by the platform, can mobile (now second screen) become the primary medium?

e4m by Saloni Surti
Updated: May 23, 2013 9:43 PM
Is mobile the next television?

A research conducted by InMobi revealed that 59 per cent of global mobile web users are now as comfortable with mobile advertising as they are with television or online advertising. The research was conducted over 15,000 mobile users in 14 markets across continents.

Fifty per cent of the average mobile users revealed that their cell phone is either their primary or exclusive device for going online. About 75 per cent of respondents admitted they’d been introduced to something new via their mobile device and 67 per cent said that they feel that cell phones had provided them with better options. Approximately, 46 per cent said they had made purchases using their mobile device and 45 per cent respondents said it has influenced their in-store purchases.

Until now, mobile has been an additional element in the marketing mix which might or might not be touched upon. However, if mobile is what the Gen-Next looks at as their new magic box, a lot of re-evaluation shall be needed.

The winning deal
According to a FICCI-KPMG report, Indians spend on an average 2.5 hours every day on their smartphones. Most of this time is spent on browsing, playing games and catching up with friends on social networking websites.

Mobile phones have now practically become the second screen and a more convenient screen for consumers. Users have the options to customise the content they like and consume it at their convenience. With the prices of smartphones become more affordable, this kind of content consumption is only on the rise.

Presence of every channel on digital has practically made a user’s tab his mini television. Availability of archives and fast internet speed makes it more comfortable and appealing than television.

“Using their mobile, consumers can now choose to watch their favourite TV shows literally anywhere and anytime, creating a very different level of affinity compared to TV. Mobile offers marketers a unique shot at becoming a part of people's lives – and for a fraction of the cost of a TV campaign,” said Narayan Murthy Ivaturi, GM - Global Sales & Strategy,

Cell phone is also the only device which is with consumer practically every minute. “Mobile phones are virtually attached to their owner which means that marketers have the ability to access consumers virtually anytime, anywhere thus, making it an essential tool for customer engagement,” said Vishwanath Alluri, Founder and Executive Chairman, IMImobile.

The challenges
Being a personal device is a mobile’s biggest strength and weakness. Convenience and intrusion are separated by a very thin line and any piece of communication can cross it very easily. For instance, Facebook Home – while ardent Facebook fans were gaga about the whole thing, most of the people felt that it would be highly disturbing to see constant updates on their mobile home screen.

Another challenge that mobile advertisers have to face is less penetration in 40 plus age group. While television manages to reach out to people irrespective of their age group, mobile faces partial paralysis in this area.

“The brand has to look for an all-around reach based on its target audience when it comes to advertising. Currently, the consumers of mobile advertising are majorly youth and they are willing to experiment more on mobile, while the consumers on television are still 35-plus. If the brand has to capture both, then they have to use both the media to supplement each other. However, mobile is an excellent device to converse and engage with the audiences of the brand since everyone owns a mobile phone these days,” said Abhijit Saxena, MD and CEO, Mobilox Innovations, who believes that mobile banner advertising is still not as mainstream as television advertising.

With television making use of mobile for creating a call for action and mobile functioning as an extension of television, both the media are currently in a win-win situation. However, as the time passes, one medium shall grow more than the other, and it is more likely to be mobile as in the coming generations life will only get faster and time spend on television across age groups will reduce.  

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