The iPod Is Still Very Much A Music Device

from the as-useful-as-a-vcr dept

New research from Nielsen says that iPods are overwhelmingly still used to listen to music, rather than watch videos. Overall, videos represented 2.2% of the media items played by users of iPods with video functionality, while they spend just 11% of their "iPod time" watching videos. It's hard to know how to interpret the data just yet, but since the launch of the video iPod, it hasn't been clear just how consumers would respond to the new paradigm of using an iPod or similar device to watch video -- although previous handheld video players haven't enjoyed huge sales. Part of the success of the iPod as a music player is due to how easy the iTunes software makes it for users to rip their CDs and put the content onto their device; iTunes can't do the same for DVDs and video. But the bigger problem, perhaps, is that watching video is an activity that requires the user's full attention, it's not like listening to music, which is a rather passive activity that can be done doing other things. Of course, maybe the iPod just isn't as a good a video player as it is a music player, either. Before condemning handheld or mobile video as dead, the market could use some tinkering with business models, as well as the release of more devices to see if consumers are really interested. But here's one suggestion: if your video efforts are resting on selling expensive, locked-down reformatted content, you might want to rethink things.
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  1. identicon
    Nobody Special, 21 Nov 2006 @ 6:17am

    umm, video is still over-hyped

    I think that the idea of video being a "bright shiny object" is very correct. I have yet to see a single person using the video enabled phones to watch any serious video. The only real use of such devices is when they make it easy to carry around the latest viral video from the Internet.

    I don't think there ever will be a real market for watching TV shows or movies on a screen small enough to make fit in the tiny device that people clearly want for carrying around. Now that could change if they built an output so I could hook it to a real screen and watch a movie.

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