Moreover, advertisers can capitalize on usage data by identifying when mobile TV use is accelerated. For instance, Orr says mobile video/TV usage is high in countries that offer mass transportation and where commuters predominate.
Despite projections, Mobile video/TV has its limitations. Mobile video use in the U.S. remains low (5% of all subscribers) compared to other mobile media, according to Nielsen.
“If the number of consumers that watch mobile TV is small it makes it less appealing for advertisers because they have a smaller audience to reach,” says Noah Elkin, senior analyst at eMarketer.
Nevertheless, the MMA recommends and experts agree that advertisers and agencies look to mobile video/TV to provide additional awareness or “buzz,” but not be the sole focus of an advertising expenditure.
“TVs at home are getting bigger and bigger, but mobile handsets are getting smaller and smaller. The small two inch screen is never going to replicate the experience of TV viewing at home,” says Elkin. “That is not to say that people won’t watch mobile TV. It just means the times and context of when they do it will be different.”
Your Mobile TV Options
Determining how to take advertising to the mobile TV audience can be quite confusing, because the term Mobile TV can include several concepts including downloadable video (i.e. iTunes), unicast or streaming video, and Broadcast TV, which is transmitted to mobile phones. Each incarnation has its own benefits and challenges for advertising.
Oftentimes, because users pay for downloadable videos, advertising is limited or nonexistent. Downloadable and Unicast videos provide the user with the ability to pause, forward, and rewind programming. This allows advertisers to insert pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll, and overlay commercials.
Alternatively, broadcast mobile TV is similar to traditional TV. The commercials in the video will be the same ads viewable on a standard television set. But ads can also be placed in the Elecronic Program Guide, a menu that features the lineup for channels.