After the large investments made in 2006, one of the four biggest Italian mobile operators (TIM) has decided to stop its mobile TV services (based on Dvb-h technology) due to the limited penetration that these have experienced over the Italian market. Rumors reported by the Italian newspaper Repubblica, indicate that also Vodafone Italia is contemplating a similar decision and that investments on Mobile TV are no longer a priority. Discontinuing Mobile TV channels will free spectrum bands that TIM is planning to use for mobile broadband services (which penetration is exponentially increasing in Italy).
The reasons for such a flop could be quite a few. On one hand, the offered services were not very innovative: basically the operators were just offering for mobile devices the same channels and programs available over traditional TV, without adding any ad-hoc and new content. Then, the rapid diffusion of mobile internet has provided to mobile users many new services (such as on-demand video) that have potentially cannibalized the sales of Mobile TV. On top of that (this is just my opinion) there is a price / value problem: would you be really willing to pay 10 euro per month or so, in order to watch TV on a 2 inch screen?
What do you think?
And what do you think will happen in the rest of Europe?
I can’t refrain from a “told you so…” Look at this slide from 2007..
When swedish TV4 launched their mobile TV I got to have it for free during the summer. I tested it to see how it worked of course but apart from that I think that I never watched it. But I do use their on-demand app TV4Play in my iPhone now and then. So, I am not really surprised and I think Italy won’t be the only country going in this direction.
Yep. However, today saying that DVB-H systems are doomed, is certainly a no-brainer. People hardly any more watch “linear” TV (on their regular TV sets, unless its actually a “live” event. They still watch a lot of TV-material, though, but when they want and not according to somebody elses schedule.
Mobile TV business in Korea is on the verge of going bust as well.
Telenor Pakistan launched mobile TV service 2-3 years back, but they didn’t pursue it extensively with marketing and network capacity extension. Reason being…it is a costly gadget and there is nothing new in this service. Why pay for few TV channels on a small screen!! Instead they came up with a video bulletin service for breaking news.