Video portal important hook for mobile users: Study

MUMBAI: Mobile companies across the globe looking at ways to provide value added services to customers would do well to consider the video portal.



Research indicates that this is one of the tools that US and European consumers would choose to simplify and enrich their mobile lives.

The research was conducted on behalf of Openwave Systems by the Teleconomy Group in Europe and by TNS in the US. The earlier mentioned video portal is a single, simple interface through which to personalised video messaging, downloads and subscription content. This spells good news for television and video content providers looking for new revenue streams.



The research is an in-depth investigation into consumer perceptions of new mobile services across the US and Europe. The research has also found that the success of 3G will be driven by better control of the user experience.

Control and simplicity are important: With the proliferation of new forms of mobile messaging, including MMS,

mobile email and Instant Messaging, and new mobile content with the launch of 3G services, the study found that most users are attracted to simple tools that would help them better control their mobile lives.

The study, involving 40 situational and focus group interviews, shows that functions to help simplify and order mobile information are crucial to delivering a better user experience of mobile services of all types. The study was undertaken in London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Madrid, Chicago, Rome and Berlin across three demographic groups - teens, young adults and professionals.

The research has also demonstrated the importance of relevant and accessible content to the delivery of better mobile user experiences. Survey participants saw most relevance in services that supported personalised content closely fitting their lifestyles and values, and were prepared to pay a premium for such services. While participants were attracted to personalised and relevant content, however, most have found it hard to know when new content is available to them, or how to access this content easily.

Teleconomy Group chairman Professor Michael K Hulme says, "This study shows that tomorrow's killer applications are all about control. While advanced mobile content and services have undoubted consumer appeal, they require simple control structures that allow users to manage them effectively. It is clear that there's little point bombarding users with

advanced forms of content if they can't make sense of it and order it."

Another tool that hooks users to the mobile is the video voicemail. This service allows users to create and manage personalised video messages, in the same way they would using

conventional voicemail.



Differences between different demographic and geographical groups:

- London was the most receptive European market for all of the concepts tested

- US participants were the most attracted to Instant Messaging and Push-to-Talk services

- On the flip side Germans were the most cynical about new services

- Professionals who have to 'sectionalise' their lives (i.e. separate their work, home and leisure time) expressed the greatest need for mobile organisational tools

- The 16-18 year old group - those having grown up in a world of mobile phones - found new services less of a conceptual leap than others.

Teleconomy is a research based consultancy specialising in understanding consumer and organisational behaviours and how relationships are built and sustained.

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