Media: Double Standards - 'We have no doubt there is demand for mobile TV'

Despite still being in its infancy, there is reason to recommend mobile phone TV to advertisers, two industry figures argue.

DAMON LETZER - SALES DIRECTOR, ETV

- Which advertisers are using mobile TV?

From our experience, the entertainment sector is most dominant in exploiting the creative process and utilising the capabilities of mobile TV. Entertainment brands have been quick to realise the potential of this platform by using engaging content to drive consumers to download, purchase and view more extensively.

- What has the take-up of mobile TV been like?

It has been a gradual process, with advertisers experimenting with the platform as a response mechanism and as a branding tool. Media agencies are overcoming their initial reticence, and have quickly woken up to the fact that mobile TV must play an integral part in their media planning and buying solutions.

- How willing are consumers to watch content on their mobile phone?

Willing if the content is short, relevant, free to view, compelling and exclusive. As the creator and producer of 3's "made for mobile" television channel, Today on 3 Live, we've experienced huge consumer tune-in success, with more than one million unique users per month, with the average viewer tuning in for an average of five minutes.

- Are ad-funded content packages the best way to get consumers to watch content?

It's a high-risk strategy for a mobile network, but if it enhances the overall look and feel of the show, then, yes.

- What are the opportunities for advertisers on mobile TV?

What works for mobile are bespoke solutions that are relevant to the brand strategy, which deliver calls to action. Advertisers are discovering a lot more freedom on the mobile platform than traditional forms of advertising typically allow. Viewers are able to instantly interact with the content and create a one-to-one dialogue.

- What's the biggest challenge in the mobile TV market?

Mobile networks need to continue to work together to create a universal set of guidelines and create cross-network compatibility. Issues such as data charges and the funding of audio-visual content need to be addressed. Currently, a viewer has to come out of the mobile stream to make a purchase, but we are looking into ways to increase the ease of purchase while in the stream.

- Does short-form content on mobile phones require a different approach to advertising?

The principles remain the same, but the creative execution will differ. With this approach, frequency capping will be of the highest importance, so the content isn't repeated to the same viewer on multiple occasions.

- What's the best piece of branding/advertising you've seen on mobile TV?

Branded content on mobile is still hard to come by, but one of the best examples to date is Jeep's incorporation of Jeep Commander "Meet the Mudds" videos into a MobiTV Jeep-branded channel.

- What content would you most like to watch on your mobile?

Easily accessible short-form content that isn't available anywhere else.

- If you didn't work in the media, what would you do?

Play alongside Dimitar Berbatov at White Hart Lane. If only that were true!

STEPHEN NUTTALL - DIRECTOR, SKY COMMERCIAL GROUP

- Which advertisers are using mobile TV?

As yet, very few. The market is nascent and we are yet to see many brands take on mobile advertising with any real anger. As with all media, the market will only take off once some standards in delivery and advertising types are agreed, and there is quite a way to go before this happens. Only time will tell who will move beyond the experimental stage.

- What has the take-up of mobile TV been like?

We are extremely pleased with the take-up of Sky Mobile TV as we approach a quarter-of-a-million subscriptions. Our customers enjoy having the flexibility to consume content at a time and place of their choosing. Mobile is proving a valuable complement to a core TV experience. We have been surprised by the degree to which mobile TV consumption mirrors that of traditional TV.

- How willing are consumers to watch content on their mobile phone?

We have no doubt there is demand for mobile TV. Our data shows that sports (especially live sports), news and entertainment are all key drivers for viewing, and that viewing is high from 8am to 9pm. Overall, viewing is highest on Saturday and Sunday.

- Are ad-funded content packages the best way to get consumers to watch content?

There is an irrational degree of optimism about the prospects for ad-funded content. Clearly, the pricing of mobile TV is critical to its adoption. We believe that a combined subscription and advertising model will win out.

- What are the opportunities for advertisers on mobile TV?

Myriad, if done well. Mobile will combine the targeting power of online with a detailed understanding of individual consumers, from customer databases owned by Sky or network operators. However, mobile must not be viewed separately from other media, and content must work with other platforms. The same applies for advertising; media owners must offer the ability to create campaigns across TV, online and mobile.

- What's the biggest challenge in the mobile TV market?

Just like TV, the principal challenge is that of offering entertainment and value to the viewer, who has a huge choice about what they want to watch and how they use their leisure time.

- Does short-form content on mobile phones require a different approach to advertising?

We don't think a 30-second pre-roll in front of a short sports clip or music video stacks up for the viewer - maybe five seconds or so is appropriate here. The ads can't be intrusive, but they must be innovative, creative, oriented to the viewer's interests, and aligned to the content.

- What's the best piece of branding/advertising you've seen on mobile TV?

I have yet to see much that really wows. The most important thing is to get the basics of data and delivery right, and then more advertisers will use mobile. Then we'll get the opportunity to create great mobile TV advertising.

- What content would you most like to watch on your mobile?

Live football, golf and cricket from Sky Sports.

- If you didn't work in the media, what would you do?

I'd probably be a nuclear physicist, studying the origins of the universe.