Is TV Going Mobile?

Once upon a time, TV was the center of advertising. All that has changed this year when mobile surpassed TV, quite significantly.

eMarketer’s 2017 predictions were that TV will bring in $72.72 billion dollars in ad spend with a low increase between 2.0% and 2.5% each year. While mobile was predicted to bring in $206 billion with an increase of 6.1% this year. As the end of the year is approaching, we have yet to see how these predictions faired.

In addition to mobile’s ability to reign in significant revenue, the capabilities of mobile devices are changing, allowing much more interesting and dynamic content to be used over mobile. Back in June of 2017, the 3G Partnership Project (3GPP) finalized Release 14, “which supports critical prerequisites for broadcast content delivery” for 4G and 5G networks. Release 14 marks a major transformation, where mobile is now able to provide an authentic broadcast experience.

“The Release 14 media extensions offer true ‘broadcast’ capabilities, without relying on some assumptions of cellular service, such as allowing one-way transmission, not relying on SIM cards, etc,” states Sam Rosen, VP at ABI Research.

Further highlighting mobile’s promise for TV broadcasting, the GSMA just released a study stating that by 2025 there should be 214 million people or 30% of Europe’s population with 5G networks. These figures point to a potential boom in mobile TV over the next few years.

In fact, in the US there are many unlimited plans for mobile, with providers such as Verizon, T-Mobile, At&T, etc. making it even more appealing for users to drop their home internet plan and just use their mobile device. This trend has been popular amongst millennials, who often don’t have landlines and rely on their mobile device – we may see that same trend emerging in TV.

As the industry is watching the growth of mobile – many tech giants are shifting gears to accommodate the change and their users’ ever-changing preferences. In an attempt to provide TV viewers a similar experience as the web, Google just announced at the Partner Leadership Summit that they will be mimicking the digital experience on traditional TV. So instead of replacing TV for mobile they will make TV similar to mobile. But is traditional TV really what millennials want? What about addressing the true, unique nature of Mobile and solving issues concerning the small screens, shorter attention span, etc.?

“Over the years, we’ve rebuilt our video platform from the ground up — we knew that TV was a very different experience from the web and we knew that broadcasters had different challenges, infrastructure, distribution partners and content from web publishers,” says Rany Ng, Google’s director of product management for video advertising. “With TV coming to digital, we put our stake in the future of building for a better user experience — one that was connected, always on, and on-demand.”

So is TV going mobile or is Mobile changing TV for good!?

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