Mobile TV is a hit with children looking to share clips with friends

LONDON - Mobile TV looks set to be a hit with young audiences, but will not replace traditional TV viewing, according to a study of mobile phone use amongst 10- to 12-year olds.

The study, by research and marketing company Quaestor, found that mobile TV will increase the role of the mobile phone in children's lives by providing a new way to watch their favourite programmes and help social networking by sharing of content.

According to the research, 87% of children would like to watch TV on their mobile, and 91% would watch mobile TV while travelling.

Content preference varied among the sexes, with girls favouring soaps and boys preferring sports, although entertainment channels such as E4, which features shows such as 'Lost' and 'Hollyoaks', were popular across the board. Some 72% of children said they would watch cartoons on their phone, ahead of 62 % who would watch music videos.

The study found a 'strong emotional attachment' to phones amongst this age group, with more than 50% of children saying that they would be 'very upset' if their phone was taken away from them.

Shazia Ali, research manager at Quaestor, said: "It's clear from our research that mobile TV is the next big thing that children will adopt and add to the repertoire of technologies they already use.

"However, it will not replace traditional TV viewing just as listening to music via mobiles has not replaced MP3 players, but rather provided another channel through which to enjoy it."

She added that current viewing patterns reflect children's desire for short and snappy, humorous content, such as cartoons, music videos and sports highlights, which can then be shared with others.

"The key watchwords in mobile TV usage amongst children are convenience and choice. Kids love the idea of being able to catch up on soaps and programmes like Big Brother so they don't feel left out in peer group conversations. They expect the same range of mobile channels as they watch at home and especially want to access their favourite programmes from their phones," said Ali.

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