Is On-Demand the Future of Mobile TV?

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RCR Wireless News columnist Colin Gibbs has an interesting take on the whole mobile TV phenomenon, which basically consists of the mantra, “[Insert Next Year Here] is the year of Mobile TV, I swear” repeated by nearly everyone in the industry, while the rest of the country twiddles its thumbs and maybe sends another text message.

“Mobile TV has a lot of things going for it: a ton of hype, an eye-catching wow factor and, in one case, an $800 million dedicated network,” Gibbs writes. “But it doesn’t have viewers. And that isn’t going to change anytime soon… U.S. adoption of wireless TV is languishing around 1%, according to a study released last week by JupiterResearch, and interest in the stuff has halved—halved!—among consumers in the last two years as the novelty wears thin.”

There’s a gazillion reasons for this—limited mobile content, high prices, crappy network coverage, few supported handsets, and so on. What Gibbs suggests is that the entire mobile TV industry needs to move toward an on-demand TV model, in the vein of Hulu, Netflix Watch Now, and independent Internet-based TV channels; it’s a compelling argument.