and years we've wondered why various companies were spending billions on building mobile TV systems that simply mimic traditional broadcast TV to mobile phones. In an age of time shifting and place shifting there's little reason for a mobile broadcast TV system that's separate from your other ways of accessing television. People don't want to have to buy into a whole different (expensive) mobile subscription service when they already have a cable subscription at home which they can save via their TiVo. And, if they really want to access it on the go, they can just pick up a Slingbox and not have to pay for an entirely separate subscription. But that hasn't stopped billions from being poured into various mobile TV systems, even though pretty much every test shows very little
interest in paying
for mobile TV.
Of course, sometimes when we talk about this, people tell us that the experiences in Asia -- specifically Korea and Japan -- show that there really is a market for fee-based mobile broadcast TV. Turns out that's not true. A new study in Korea points out that the highly touted mobile broadcast system there gets very, very little usage
. In the meantime, Toshiba is backing off
plans to offer a fee-based mobile TV subscription service in Japan. So much for those "success" stories.
What's really stunning about this is that it wasn't hard to predict
that this would happen years ago, before
billions were wasted on such systems. None of this means that video
alone isn't an interesting space in the mobile market, but it has to be allowing users to access what video they want -- not taking us back in time to an old live broadcast system, and adding yet another subscription fee for the privilege.