Great news: Mobile viewers watch TV – but is it entertainment

Today in Barcelona at this years 2013 Mobile World Congress, ROVI released a study clarifying what most of us have been wondering: what actually is being watched on mobile phones and where we might be headed to as a business model is concerned to what we will watch on our seemingly attached devices.

The report was very interesting it sighted:

• Base size – 27,000 viewers in the U.S. and Europe
• In the United States, 66 percent of tablet owners stream video 2 to 3 times a week, or more.
• Beating that number is Italy (73 percent) and Spain (71 percent).
• How long are those people watching?
o 66% U.K. residents watch the longest on their tablets at 30 minutes, 62% U.S. were close behind, watching for an average of 30 minutes too.
• Rovi then looked at what type of content viewers in various countries are watching on their tablets.
o U.K. lean toward TV shows (33 percent of tablet users),
o U.S. and Germany prefer movies (35 percent and 30 percent).
• No matter the country, cell phone users were more likely to watch user-generated content (UGC).
o Italy, 47 percent of cell phone users said they watched more UGC than any other type of video.
• Live video: nearly half of respondents in the U.S. and the U.K. (49 percent and 49.5 percent) streamed a live event to a mobile device. Of the surveyed countries, Italy and Spain showed the highest viewership of live mobile video (63 percent and 59 percent).

The question now: are we going back to using video as a form of communication versus entertainment on mobile phones?

User Generated Content – UGC is really all about showing what we’re doing versus story telling. Consequently, it’s really an enhancement to how we already use a ‘phone.’

It is also a signal as to where possibly the phone is going as a tool in communication – true video phones.

Taking this study a bit further in how the phone is being used and interacted with, the ROVI study really points out how we are shifting in our societal and cultural response to personal interactions.

So really is the phone the actual vehicle for new “movie’ viewer modeling? From these numbers and cultural usage it may not.

What is certainly key is the use of a larger format tablet for longer form, quality produced media and entertainment. From this report the phone is being pointed out to be a one-to-one, personal device, and the tablet is perhaps becoming more of a ‘community’ device – i.e. more than one person can comfortably watch a video on a tablet, in fact it can also stream out to a larger screen too.

More on this over the next few days. Comments?

Value, Quality & Choice – TV’s new landscape

Today the TV industry received a wake up call. Peter Kafka and Walt Mossberg interviewed Eric Huggers from Intel at All Things D’s DIVE into Media summit.

Hugger’s placed in front of the two a compelling strategy and view in how Intel’s moving out to reshape the industry. Now, for those of use that have been immersed in this space for a few years, we have heard new ideas over and over again, and seen bodies littered along side the highway due to attempts to try and break the hold of the existing television distribution models, ie cable and satellite.

But today’s a different day and the interest from the consumer to have what they want, when they want it and watch television on whatever device they’d like is now. Intel has a very strong and logical view on how that’s going to play out, and if I could let you know outside of the confidentialities that I hold and respect, have a shot of challenging the status quo. The bottom line is…after today the creators of devices and networks will have to take Intel into consideration. If not them specifically, then others who will mirror them with slight twists.

Tomorrow morning the sun will be rising on a new landscape.

More on this in the coming days, weeks.

Appleholics validated via US State of the Union?

One of the most amazing things has been taking place for years and that is cultural and societal acceptance of an addiction. While we as a culture work to address real diseases in the form of alcoholism, drug dependency and for that matter child abuse, we seem to turn the other cheek when it comes to being manipulated by an amazing phenomena that is called Apple-holism.

The responses are pretty much the same thing amongst the faithful – if you question any aspect of an Apple product you will receive a sever tong lashing. Sadly this is not a great deal of difference from when you question someone that you’re concerned may drink too much, or party too hard – denial is a serious issue. Yet, in today’s US State of the Union address you will see the CEO of Apple in attendance right along individuals who have faced real hardship and challenges: the whistle blower of the military, the wounded policeman from Wisconsin, the parents of the young teenager from Chicago who was recently slain.

Yes, Apple’s CEO certainly can be considered one of those who has lost greatly…in his stock portfolio? Ouch. Whew, so sad. Bottom line, it’s really sad to see that this venue is now open for manipulation by the marketplace.

I know there are those that will disagree with me, but I just don’t see how we as a culture buy into so heavily the allure of the Apple brand. Great products, great innovation, but do they define me…no. Our media though seems to buy into it too. Covering Apple when other companies far exceed them in innovation or market needs. In fact, in some ways the media is on the defensive these days, so get ready for some ‘ego’ defense coming our way.

The first we’ll see is tonight when Apple’s CEO will be validated by being alongside real reasons to celebrate our country…those who have sacrificed to be truly recognized.

New definition of SMART TV – Liberty acquires Virgin Media

John Malone, Mike Fries and Balan Nair know what they’re doing! This acquisition will have a positive impact on overall distributed TV environment. With the success of the new Horizon boxes deployed in the Nederland’s, and shortly in Switzerland, and Virgin’s TIVO’s being embraced in their markets, this new powerhouse will play a strong roll in the advancement of the overall television and media market. Combine Virgin’s understanding of their markets with Liberty’s technical executives savvy, the industry will have to step up if they’re going to keep up.

Netflix Rocks with “House of Cards” Launch…The 3M’s – Media Measurement Metrics will not be looked at in the same way ever again!

Netflix’s launch of their 13-segment series “House of Cards” has presented some great opportunities for them; 1) they do not having to rely on time-centric ratings, 2) they can capitalize on the viewing habits of its members; and 3) can spend less on marketing while generating higher viewership. A quote by CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells in a letter to shareholders within the company’s Q4 2012 earnings report basically wraps it up: “With Netflix, members can enjoy a show anytime, and over time, we can effectively put the right show in front of members based on their viewing habits.” Enabling Netflix subscribers to “binge” in their viewing…if they’d like to.

This is gold! In fact it basically reinforces the already eroding media model both in programming and especially in measurement metrics.

As the old adage says…It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.

It’s not that there are second screens, there are multiple screens each with select usage behavior. Programming will be consumed on the viewers “primary screen,” what ever it is, where ever it is at and whatever their age is. Measurement may be derived through the populace of engagement enabling an understanding in how to improve a viewers life, experience and enjoyment in their choices and not try to continue the 50 year history of control programming through an outdated rating system.

Here’s a thought, instead of using psychographics, pyshicalgraphics or demographics in ratings, explore a new metrics mentality. One idea might be to invent one i.e. “cycle (psycal) – graphics:” loosely defined perhaps as the “decision cycle” in measuring how an individual consumes entertainment… wherever, whenever and on whatever they choose, give it “a rating point” and “poof” a new ageless perspective magically appears.

Certainly there’s tremendous momentum in the market in establishing a new means of measurement and ratings to help the media industry advance.

However, there’s a need to break out of the past and look to where the consumption takes place albeit TV programming, films, gaming and social interaction is engaged, understand consumption/acquisition patterns and start to measure/monetize with less confusion, enabling revenue models to be fulfilled.

I applaud Netflix’s “line in the sand” decision to break the mold and start the discussion!