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Motorola Mobility TV barometer points to 'change' -- is there a storm coming?

The annual survey shows an almost five-fold increase in the number of Americans watching TV on smartphones.

Research house Vanson Bourne, on behalf of Motorola Mobility, conducted the company’s third mobility media engagement survey of TV trends in 16 countries, surveying 9000 customers across all major regions of the world. It found a customer hungry for social media, connectivity and "anytime, anywhere" entertainment.

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While TV and video viewing is still on the rise, accounting for 15 hours a week globally, Germans and Americans are top of the TV viewing list at 18 and 21 hours a week respectively.

The rise of on-demand TV via DVRs is changing how customers watch TV, driving the most dramatic industry convergence in the past 20 years and radically shifting the traditional TV viewing experience, according to the survey. The use of on- demand TV is increasing by around 18% a year.

Meanwhile the next big factor is arriving in the shape of social media – with customers spending an average of 12 hours online a week and another six hours immersed in social media. The result of this convergence is Social TV with about 60% of global respondents saying that they have discussed a program with friends on social networks. Another 49% are interested in this type of development. In all, social networks were the preferred way to comment on programs in almost 90% of respondents in Germany and the US.

The survey endorses the accepted view that customers prefer to use a social TV service via a PC, smartphone or tablet. Motorola Mobility believes that this confirms that mobile TV is "finally here", with more than a third of respondents, globally, claiming to watch TV services on a smartphone, tablet, PC or laptop. About 23% of Americans now watch TV on smartphones.

Access was also covered in the survey and it found that 52% of respondents would be open to a service that allowed them to access their videos, photos and personal data on any device, from anywhere in the world. There was also significant interest in the idea of a personal cloud, if there was a convincing case for its value, according to the survey.

With the traditional broadcast TV industry under pressure, and their adoption of new IT infrastructures generally being almost a decade behind telecom, they should be seriously worried by telcos offering TV type services (CP: Verizon reportedly considering OTT offering). Telcos and cable companies and, more so with LTE, have the upper hand. This advantage is enhanced by leading edge OSS/BSS capabilities, particularly the advent of policy management and the outlandish move towards giving the customers what they want when they want it (CP: Hong Kong CSL’s shocking customer experience discoveries).

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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