Friday, July 1, 2011

Going Mobile: Mobile Apps and Video

Recently, I did a post on how one local TV station is taking advantage of the mobile and app markets. A new research report by Futuresource provides some additional background on the apps market and the value of incorporating video in news apps.
Mobile is growing - currently 33% of US cell users have smartphones (25% in the U.K.), with market penetration of smartphones/tablets forecast to reach 75% in three years.  In 2010, there were 10 billion app downloads, generating $4 billion in revenues.  There's money in the mobile app market, a market that's likely to see continued rapid growth. For now, gaming and social networking apps dominate the market.  Still, 64% of iPhone users report watching video on their devices, although use of video drops to 32% for people with other types of smartphones.  About half of smartphone users report using their devices to get news.. The problem in the past has been getting people interested in paying for that news.
One way of increasing demand is to increase the value of the good or service.  Some of the Futuresource results suggests including video as part of a multimedia offering may help.  More ithan half of respondents (57%) said they like watching a video when it is next to an article. People were also be more to watch video as part of a multimedia packages, than as standalone videos - 24% said they would watch affiliated videos to get more information (vs. only 12% would watch a standalone video).  Further, they were more likely to evaluate as "professional" a video as part of a package (61%), than as a separate standalone video.
Another strategy may be to really target "paid" content.  If there's a general unwillingness to pay for basic news, then reserve the use of paid apps for the news that some people value highly enough to pay for.  Like coverage of major events, or big stories. 

Source: "iPhone Owners: Big Video Watchers, Mobile App Users", Media Daily News

Update:  Here's a direct link to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism's report on mobile news and paying for news content online.

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