User survey: Americans on the fence about Mobile TV

American consumers are on the fence about their desire for a free or subscription-based Mobile DTV service that delivers content to handheld and in-vehicle tuners even when the tuner is in motion, an online survey by MarketSource found.

A total of 24 percent of surveyed adults who don’t own a Mobile DTV product said they would definitely or likely buy a Mobile DTV that receives free content from local TV stations, according to the survey. The Mobile DTV product could be a dedicated handheld, tunerequipped cellphone, tuner-equipped portable DVD player, or installed in-vehicle car TV system.

A total of 16 percent of surveyed adults who don’t own a Mobile DTV tuner said they would definitely or likely buy a Mobile DTV tuner that receives a subscription- based service. The type of tuner could be any of the above as well as an add-on tuner, like one planned by the FLO TV subscription service, that turns a smartphone into a Mobile DTV tuner.

On a scale of one to five, with five indicating a definite intent to buy, consumers on average expressed a 2.4 interest level in Mobile DTV products that receive free content, MarketSource found. Interest levels slipped to an average 2.2 for subscription-based products. A rating of two represents an unlikely intent to buy. A rating of three indicates the respondent is neither likely nor unlikely to buy.

In measuring demand by price point, MarketSource found that for a dedicated handheld TV that receives free TV broadcasts, the sweet spot is $99 to $149.

For an installed in-vehicle tuner that receives free broadcasts, the sweet spot is $399 to $499. Forty-three percent of consumers who said they would definitely or likely buy such a product or who were neutral said they would pay $399 to $499 for a tuner that connects to an existing in-vehicle video system. Still, 48 percent thought any price at $399 and up was too high.

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