What Needs to Happen for Cellphone Video to Take Off

Mike Vorhaus on Digital Communications

By Published on .

While 84% of internet users ages 12 to 64 have a cellphone or smartphone, and virtually everyone watches TV, DVDs or other video, viewing video on cellphones has not taken off in a big way in the U.S.

Mike Vorhaus
Photo: Stephanie Diani
Mike Vorhaus is president of Magid Advisors for Frank N. Magid Associates.
Slightly more than 5% of all online consumers who have wireless devices indicated they regularly watch online video on those mobile devices. (This is based on asking who subscribes to video services and who watches free mobile video, combining the two, and removing duplicate responses.)

All those videos from friends, all those TV shows and movies -- why aren't more folks watching on their mobile devices?

Fundamentally, consumers are concerned about the costs: the cost of data charges to transmit the video but also fees for specific videos. Another concern is screen size.

So when and how will this change? Obviously as all-you-can-eat and low-cost digital-data plans grow, costs will drop. Another barrier will be reduced as screen sizes increase, as they have on the iPhone. More than 40% of iPhone consumers say they watch a lot more video on their phones.

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