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Users put off watching World Cup on mobile

Poor quality and fear of big bills dissuading European subscribers from mobile video streaming

Mobile users are concerned about getting large data bills, or poor quality, when watching World Cup matches on mobile devices.
Mobile users are concerned about getting large data bills, or poor quality, when watching World Cup matches on mobile devices.

Consumers are being put off watching the upcoming FIFA World Cup on their mobile devices over concerns of poor video quality and potential ‘bill shock'.

A survey of mobile users in Europe conducted by Censuswide, found that only 21.6% of UK respondents and 39% of German respondents will watch matches on their mobiles, although 68% of Spanish subscribers said they would watch games.

One in three UK users were put off by poor quality or uncertainty over charges for mobile video streaming, while a similar number of German users were put off by bill shock, but fully 50% would not watch because of poor quality. One quarter of Spanish respondents had concerns over quality and charges.

John Giere, CEO at Openwave Mobility commented: "Mobile operators must capitalize on the exponential demand for video. A major event like the World Cup does not only generate instantaneous revenues, it can also change habits as people who were not mobile video users realise that this is a great way to keep up with the action. As part of the research, we also looked at the growth in mobile video from the 2010 World Cup. Across Europe we saw 2 to 4 times as many people wanting to view at least part of the games on mobile in 2014. This is not just due to an increase in smartphone penetration, that was already high in 2010. This is more about the increasing penetration of mobile video as an activity people can engage with and enjoy. Unfortunately it seems that much of this momentum will be lost through the old perceptions of high price and low quality."

The survey also asked consumers if they were prepared to pay their mobile operators for high quality mobile video. Interestingly, despite the fears described over unknown data charges, of those people wanting to watch the games on mobile 43% of Spanish, 34% of German and 21% of British subscribers were all happy to pay a fixed fee, ie a video-service subscription fee, to their mobile operator for HD quality World Cup footage.

Giere added: "The fact is that consumers are happy to pay a fee for a service that delivers quality and gives them a great user experience. It is now more important than ever for mobile operators to meet the insatiable appetite for mobile video and monetize their data."

Sue Rudd, Director Service Provider at Strategy Analytics commented "Strategy Analytics surveys show that consumers are now regularly watching video on mobile devices. Mobile operators and their TV partners around the world are gearing up for mobile delivery of the 2014 World Cup to smartphones and tablets and there is the opportunity for operators to let users experience the addictiveness of high quality video as a service. To ensure a premium experience these operators need to offer end-to-end optimized delivery and management. Vendors like Openwave Mobility offer important video mechanisms to help these operators deliver a great viewing experience over mobile broadband for what is likely to be the most watched World Cup ever."