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ROK says mobile TV still rolling

US consumers do not want specialised mobile TV content – they would prefer their mobile to offer the type of thing they watch on TV at home. This is one of the main findings of a recent survey of more than 2,000 American mobile phone users by internet information provider comScore.

But the statistic of most concern to the service providers must be that more than half of the survey respondents had no interest in, or awareness of, mobile TV.

But this finding did not impress – or depress – Bruce Renny, group marketing director of ROK Entertainment, whose service ROK TV streams video at 14 frames per second over GPRS.

“Slightly more than half the 2,000 people surveyed expressed a lack of interest in mobile TV, which leaves nearly 50 per cent interested in mobile TV,” he said. “Given there are more mobile phones in use worldwide (2.8 billion) than all the TV sets, computers and cinema screens combined, 50 per cent interest in mobile TV represents a massive potential market.”

Of course, the survey was localised but Renny suggests that even a very low global figure would be workable.

“Even if, in the worst case, just 1 per cent of the potential market signs up to receive mobile TV at, say, $10 per month, that’s a market worth $280m a month, or $3.36bn a year,” he said. “If five per cent sign up, that’s a global market of nearly $17bn.”

The only remaining question, it seems, is whether consumers will sign up to broadcast mobile or a Rokent-style streaming service.

“I happen to believe the convenience of on-demand mobile TV, particularly when stocked with made-for-mobile content, to be a far more viable business model,” Renny said.

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