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Looking for success in mobile TV? Go the app way

03-September-2013
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Looking for success in mobile TV? Go the app way

Mobile television has been on a growth curve for quite some time now. Statistics show that in 2012, 42 per cent of the movie trailers were consumed through mobile devices, followed by tutorials and ‘How to’ videos at 41 per cent and comedic short clips at 37 per cent. The song Kolaveri Di, which was a sensation on YouTube, had 30 per cent of the 50 million views through mobile.

With a number of applications and websites now coming up to offer these services, mobile television has become an independent medium in itself, with a very loyal TG base. However, mobile being a complex ecosystem, players and marketers are often unsure about whether the scale is at par with the services and RoI. In light of such complexity, exchange4media takes a look at what would be the best possible route to leverage the mobile TV phenomenon.

Mobile app v/s Mobile web
In a sea of mobile phones with various features, a question that often arises is which is the more successful way to engage mobile TV audience – mobile website accessed through mobile browser or mobile TV apps installed on smartphones?

According to Nielsen Informate Mobile Television, mobile TV applications have 7X more exposure as compared to mobile TV websites. In 2012, mobile TV apps had a reach of 28 per cent, whereas mobile TV websites had a reach of 4 per cent. It may be noted that app-based services are more in demand only with smartphone users.

“If you compare mobile TV application with mobile web, the former holds an edge due to the convenience element,” said Manoj Padmanabhan, Business Head, Ditto TV. “For a browser, one might have to remember the URL, but an application has easy recall.”

The Nielsen Informate Mobile Television report further states that nexGTv has the maximum hold over the mobile television market with a reach of 19 per cent. Other players in the space are Myplex Now, Mundu TV, Zenga TV and Yupp TV, with 1 per cent reach.

Applications and websites are designed for different kinds of experience. However, with slow data services, applications become more desirable.

“Sites have been usually designed to offer access to content in an exploratory format, which emphasis on higher page views. This is where the app is different as it allows specific actions and the user is not lost while exploring the content. Video content is much better controlled within an app and the benefit from a particular smartphone device can be very well derived,” remarked Madan Sanglikar, Co-Founder & MD, AD2C.

Sanglikar pointed out that applications can offer various services, such as shake the phone to move to the next video, put the phone face down to pause the video, get automatic reminders/ updates and so on. All these make it easier for the content producer to increase engagement, while the user gets to make the best use of the app features. Most of these features cannot be best delivered by a mobile website. Also, the application offers owners and marketers with services such as reminders, non-intrusive form of advertisements, etc.

In terms of engagement, nexGTv leads with 71 minutes per month, Myplex Now follows with 41 minutes per month, Yupp TV has 38 minutes per month, Zenga TV has 18 minutes per month, Mundu TV has five minutes per month, while Vuclip app has four minutes per month. nexGTv is way ahead of its competitors when it comes to the number of sessions per month with 30 sessions. Myplex Now is a distant second with 17 sessions per month.

On the other hand, mobile TV website space is dominated by Vuclip site with 2.50 per cent reach, followed by Zenga TV site, which has a reach of 1.25 per cent, Mundu TV site with 0.31 per cent, and Yupp TV site with 0.16 per cent.

As the cost of smartphones continues to decrease, while data plans, too, become cheaper, applications will be on the winning side of the mobile TV game. However, the trend does not render mobile websites extinct as the phenomenon is the only option for feature phones users.

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