Mobile TV will feed ‘snackers’

Majors networks get wakeup call

CANNES — Program makers will increasingly have to cater to “snackers” — mobile TV watchers whose average viewing span is three to five minutes.

So predicts Ray Derenzo, VP of business development for MobiTV, a mobile TV company providing live TV via telephone to some 500,000 subscribers in North America.

Service carries dozens of channels, including most major networks.

“People use the service frequently, but not for long duration. Snack-size content will work well,” the exec told a standing-room-only aud at a Mipcom mart conference on mobile channel and content strategies Wednesday.

BSkyB’s Simon Nuttal compared the evolution mobile represents for TV program makers today as “a step on from multichannel TV,” which forced broadcasters to accept that viewers could migrate to any number of rival channels.

Based on consumption patterns of MobiTV’s clients, Derenzo came up with some other observations.

While TV sets are on in most homes for an average of 200 minutes a day — 300 minutes in the U.S. — mobile TV users are not glued to their phones, watching on average 45 minutes a month.

People predominantly switch on during morning and evening rush hour, he said.

And, in a wakeup call for the big networks, small niche channels frequently beat them in mobile TV ratings, because of programming such as musicvids that is better adapted to mobile consumption.

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