Monday, July 17, 2006

Kids wanna watch mobile TV

I've been reading over at New Media Age (print edition) and Brand Republic about the latest research into kids wanting to watch mobile TV from research agency Quaestor.

They've discovered that, given the choice, children would like to watch their favourite TV programmes on their phones. I can imagine the scenario now...
  • Researcher, 'so Johnny, tell me what's one of your favourite TV programmes?'
  • Johnny, 'umm, I like cartoons best like The Simpsons'
  • Researcher, 'Do you have a mobile phone?'
  • Johnny, 'yeah, course I do. Everyone's got one.'
  • Researcher, 'If you could watch The Simpsons on your mobile phone whenever you liked, would you do it?'
  • Johnny, 'you mean, I can watch tv on my phone the same as I watch at home? So, like if I was in the car or something, I can just turn on my favourite programmes? And I just have to press a button on my phone to do it, yeah, course I'd do it'.
Ok, i'm being slightly facetious here, but it's not going to be hard to sell-in an idea like Mobile TV to the average 11 year old. If they have a phone, that happens to have tv on it, they'll use it. It's not a question of whether it's mobile tv or not, it's a question of do they want to watch tv at that time and if the answer is yes, and there's a button on the phone that says 'watch TV', I guess a fair few of them would press that button. It's not that it's 'mobile TV' per se. It's just TV.

More importantly, if tweens are going to be a key market to drive Mobile TV forward, then further consideration has to be put into the question of data costs. Most of these tweens are on PAYG phones with extortionate data charges. I'm sure Johnny and Jamila's Mum and Dad are soon going to put a stop to Mobile TV usage as soon as they realise it's going to cost them several £s an hour for the privilege.

Quaestor used a combined methodology, beginning with an exploratory qualitative study of 12 friendship pairs conducted in-home. The sample was split across boys and girls aged 10, 11 and 12 in the north and south of England. Outcomes helped develop a list of questions for a follow-up quantitative stage of 300 online questionnaires, again completed by 10-12 year olds.


  1. "Most of these tweens are on PAYG phones with extortionate data charges"

    When will operators realize that charging too much means the service is not used?

    An alternative to "real" TV would be that you dumped over pre-recorded shows, like you would do on an iPod etc.

  2. Anonymous3:38 pm BST

    "Most of these tweens are on PAYG phones with extortionate data charges"

    Yeah, I'd say mobile TV is more likely to take off with someone like my boss, who had a portable telly on his desk during the World Cup.

  3. @Harry L

    Yes, I am directly involved in the marketing of mobile comms and services. Feel free to get in touch.

  4. Don't kids already watch too much TV? If I'm going to get "Johnny" hooked on another mobile data service, I'd much rather it be something like mobile IM -- at least that has a social / interactive component. Just being a devil's advocate here... :)


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