Mobile Video Has a Few Years to Go
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Apple's Video iPods are a hit and so are Sony's P2Ps. Still, the industry built around mobile video content that lasts longer than 30 minutes is still a largely experimental one.
But the training wheels will be off by 2009, according to an In-Stat research report titled "The Audience of One: Long Form Mobile and Portable Content Slowly Emerges."
First, by 2008, the mobile/portable video content industry will gain traction and demonstrate its long-term potential, the In-Stat report states.
The 50 million portable media players in circulation worldwide, according to Michael Inouye, In-Stat analyst, will be a sign of this.
Then, by 2009 mobile video subscribers will represent over 10 percent of U.S. wireless subscribers.
However, the report suggests, it is not clear if users will prefer an all-purpose multimedia cellular phone or separate voice and multimedia devices.
Already, as many as one in eight respondents to an In-Stat survey of mobile users said they were interested in a cellular device with mobile video technology.
In a year that's seen an explosion in popularity for video sites such as YouTube, those survey results seem typical.
YouTube is a video-sharing site that tells members: "broadcast yourself."
The site follows many of the trumpeted Web 2.0 conventions, as it's leveraged user-generated content and increased broadband penetration to reach its success.
The site has grown 297 percent in unique page views per month from January to June this year, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
Watching that success, AOL launched its own new video product, AOL Video, as a crucial part of its latest efforts to recast itself as a free and advertising-supported Web portal.