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
    Rico J. Halo, 20 Nov 2006 @ 5:21pm

    bright shiny objects

    The video is just a bright shiny object for iPod users. Even Steve Jobs has said that the iPod doesnt do videos well yet. I have one of the new video iPods and seldom use it for videos other then the occasional video podcast. I almost never use it for music vids.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Pierre B, 20 Nov 2006 @ 6:20pm

    Re: bright shiny objects

    This is probably why Apple when it introduced the video IPod, decided to not have a pure music IPod (except for the Shuffle and Nano). If they gave customers a choice, the Ipod Video would probably not have been successful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    AZ, 20 Nov 2006 @ 7:15pm

    Ipod videos

    Well I have a mp3 player by samsung. So many other players have better features and pricing per GB than the ipod does.
    Well mine can play videos on it. Its a small flash based one.
    I could prob shrink one dvd down to AVI formatt and then convert it to my mp3 players files.

    Well the only problem I see with it is there is no Fast foward, or rewind feature on it.

    It would be bad if you cut it off and could not get back to where you were. And the screens are so small. After even 1.5 hours I am sure you would be tired of it. I use mine for just showing short vid clips to friends.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Brian A., 20 Nov 2006 @ 8:07pm

    Big screen, little screen

    I still find it quite odd that in a world of ever increasing television screen size and quality that anyone would choose to purchase video for the sole purpose of viewing it on an iPod or other device. That being said, if there was a free service to download the top ten viral videos to my iPod I'd be on it in a heartbeat.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Swissfondue, 21 Nov 2006 @ 2:38am

    iPod with video

    I'm paraphrasing a bit, but Steve Jobs said that it is an iPod whose primary reason for being is music (with album art and enhanced podcasts) but also allows playback of video. The emphasis is clearly on music.

    The iTunes store started out by only selling music videos. This was the intended usage at launch. Later Apple added TV and Movies.

    Apple always says bigger screens are better (iMac 24"). That is why the iPod video has TV out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2006 @ 6:53am

    I laugh when people watch videos in their cars on those tiny 7" screens -- it's a wonder why anyone would want to watch videos on their smaller 2.5" iPod screens.

    Take a note from the Video-cellphone play book, "Not too many people actually use their 1.75" screen cellphones to watch content -- it is primarily a look-what-my-phone-can-do type of toy".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Randy D, 21 Nov 2006 @ 7:20am

    Yep, It's a music device. No Surprise.

    And even Jobs said so. It's a music player that also does video's. Have one. The only time I use the video side is to watch the occasional show (haven't done a movie yet) while killing time between classes. One of the few times I can give my undivided attention to a video screen of any size. The ipod simply gives me the means to do it when I can instead of having to be home at the right time.

    Oh yeah, didn't jobs continuely say that the world wasn't ready or wanting portable video before releasing the 5G version and then still not emphasizing the video side in any way. Hmmm, maybe he does get it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    James, 21 Nov 2006 @ 8:17am

    This is not news...

    .. this isn't even a surprise. A person MIGHT watch video on thier ipod if it had the ability but I can only imagine it'd be more as a convenience or a work-around to other things, and not something planned.

    Plus then you have addt'l (generally) DRM bs to deal with, with video, too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Davin Peterson, 21 Nov 2006 @ 8:26am

    Creative Zen is a true video player

    The Creative Zen Vision:M is a true video due to it's high resolution screen at 262,000 colors compared to the iPod's low 62,000 color screen.

    If you're looking for a wide screen device to watch movies on, check out the Creative Zen Vision W

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Insomniac, 22 Nov 2006 @ 8:33am


    I very much agree with David. Get a Zen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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