The number of mobile phone users in Italy accessing video content via their devices will climb to 5.1 million in 2015 and its revenues reach $685 million (€454.3 million), according to a report from Coda Research Consultancy.
The report on the Italian TV market predicts that users accessing TV content via DVB-H alone will double from the present 1.2 million to 2.5 million in 2015. In particular, the 2010 World Cup will act as a stimulus for accessing mobile TV services, as it did in 2006, and Coda estimates that regular usage will climb to 1.6 million at the end of 2010.
However Steve Smith, the report’s author, commented that mobile TV take-up in Italy, although respectable when compared to the rest of Europe, has failed to meet expectations.
“In part this is due to how Europeans fit their mobile phones into their everyday lives,” he explains. “People tend to use their phones for video, games, texting, social networking and so on when they are between spaces and events, such as when commuting or meeting friends. In Japan and South Korea, where mobile TV penetration is significantly higher, people spend a lot more time commuting on public transport and so have more time available. The streaming or broadcast of live TV simply doesn’t fit the European consumer. This is one example of how operators and broadcasters aren’t providing the kinds of video content and services mobile users actually want,” he said in a statement.
Where Coda does see the opportunity for significant growth is in users downloading video onto their phones either via 3G or from their laptops and PCs, with that caveat that content and rights owners allow them to do so. “Our research with iPhone users shows that downloading content allows people much greater control over their viewing experiences and the kinds of content they view. But content owners and service providers must provide more opportunities for users to do this,” he explained.