Archive for the video Category

del52.jpgDeloitte is sharing some “interesting” numbers from their new “The State of Media Democracy” survey. Billed as a “‘reality check’ on how American consumers between 13 and 75 years of age are using media and technology today – and what they want in the future,” the study reserves a special section for mobile entitled “Cell Phones as Entertainment” as it breaks down consumption of user-generated, traditional and mobile media across four key generations: Millennials (13 – 24), Gen X (25-41), Baby Boomers (25-41) and Matures (61-75).

Some highlights from the piece:

  • “Cell Phones are Surging as Entertainment Devices.” (Yes I said “Hype” for a reason). 36% of US mobile users surveyed stated that they use their mobile phone for “entertainment” (up from 24% in just six months). The Millennials reported the highest activity in this area, with 62% reporting mobile entertainment usage (up from 46% in six months), with Gen X second at 47% usage (up from 29% in six months). It’s not entirely clear how Deloitte is defining “entertainment” (they don’t define this in their release), but surely cannot be referring to video services, or even downloadable music – as these numbers are seriously at odds with nearly most (if not all) major research data covering this market. Perhaps “Entertainment” is referring to gaming, video, music, and “entertainment-related” mobile web usage. Question: If I’m talking on my mobile and my friend tells me a joke, does that count as “Cell Phone Entertainment?”
  • Both Millennials and Gen X’ers display nearly identically activity in mobile internet usage, at 45% and 46%, respectively. Again, these numbers seem very high when viewed against similar studies and other industry data from “mobile specialist” research firms like M:Metrics and Nielsen Mobile (Telephia)
  • Mobile “picture taking” on the rise. 63% of mobile users reported using a mobile phones for photo capture; 80% of Millenials and 75% of Gen X. These numbers seem somewhat elevated but in general seem realistic and corroborated by similar studies and marketplace observations.

Overall, I must say that I am extremely skeptical of Deloitte’s latest findings, an opinion shared by others in the US mobile marketing space. Both Carlo Longino of mocoNews and Steve Smith of MediaPost cast similar doubt on the validity of some of the numbers reported in the survey, primarily concerning the dubious claims concerning US mobile video penetration (20%? – is that a typo?!). Ultimately, the fact that the Deloitte survey promotes data consistently and significantly above earlier findings would suggest a overenthusiastic (to use a nice word) research bias, and whether intentional or not – unfortunately puts all of its findings into doubt.

From the “next big thing” file, the latest in mobile’s long tradition of incredulous, industry-promoting “research studies” comes from Screen Digest, who conclude that there will be over 28 million mobile video subscribers in North America by 2011. That’s right folks… in a scant three years mobile video is expected to increase by a factor of 20! Never mind that recent surveys have demonstrated that US consumers have little interest in mobile video, or that m:metrics has shown that only 0.6 percent of US mobile subscribers are currently utilizing mobile video services.

The Screen Digest press release makes little mention of research methodology, other than that “The data in this press release is taken from Screen Digest’s latest report, Mobile TV: Business Models and Opportunities. The report includes analysis of the current market situation, business models and value chain, as well as analysis of the delivery mechanisms, broadcast technology and the impact of regulation. 25 countries are reviewed in the report.”

More than likely Screen Digest’s release and corresponding “report” are designed to fuel the speculative bubble that has enveloped the mobile space for the better part of the last decade, giving the pitchmen another bullet point in their case for the “huge, can’t miss opportunity” that is mobile video.

Too bad, really… as it’s “research” like this that has continued to misalign expectation of the channel, and usually only serves to thwart the efforts of legitimate mobile marketers in the space.