UK study highlights the need for more innovative TV on mobile phones

MUMBAI: The results of a new study, Mobile TV – Attitudes to Broadcast on Mobile, confirms the need for broadcast and entertainment brands to work harder to tailor their content to mobile phones.

The qualitative study by Red Bee Media (formerly BBC Broadcast) and digital media research agency, iBurbia, aimed to research consumer attitudes to specially made or tailored mobile content compared to TV streamed to mobile phones.

The findings suggested that full length programming on mobile is not as popular as made for mobile TV because screen sizes are too small, opportunities to watch full length programmes on-the-go are rare and subjects preferred to watch full-length programming on the TV.

iBurbia's Omar Bakhshi says, "We talked with a broad range of people in this study and there was significant interest in concepts that complemented TV viewing with extra and exclusive content on mobile phones. But, the content had to be sufficiently compelling to be worth the effort and there is a fear of billing abuse, meaning that cost needs to be made clear".

The results have also suggested that the most effective way to market mobile TV will be using on-screen prompts within related television shows. The most successful mobile TV will also be of the right quality to work on a mobile screen and targeted to a specific audience. Participants in the study found that, on the smallest of mobile screens, any content over three minutes was too long and anything over one pound was too expensive.

The recent Oxford trials confirmed that there is an appetite for mobile TV, but this research highlights how 'TV' for mobile is wildly different from the 'TV' of linear broadcasting. New rules for advertising, navigating and entertaining apply. We worked with iBurbia to find out what viewers really want to watch on their mobile phones. Red Bee Media has built a successful business in understanding consumers' needs in order to create and tailor content and communicaton for multiple platforms and formats.

Red Bee Media business director new creative content Catriona Tate says, "The results point towards the mobile TV market being driven in the short term by advertiser funded content and mobile video that compliments or promotes TV programmes".

The qualitative study was produced by iBurbia in its interactive media research centre in West London. It included six focus groups - two groups made up of people aged 16-25, three 26-40 and one 41-60. One of these groups consisted of 'gadget' users (26-40 age group), the rest only having freeview TV at home and mostly using their mobile phones just for calls.

The subjects were shown content specially made for mobile on mobile handsets that was created by Red Bee Media. The content included a sport clip, comedy clip, one minute mobidrama, advertiser funded programme, interview with football manager and reality TV clip. As a comparison, subjects were also shown a full length High Definition programme on a PSP (portable Play Station) and a Freeview channel streamed live to a mobile phone.

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