Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mobile TV

VC's are just throwing money at Mobile TV start ups. Just today, between Techcrunch, SiliconBeat, and GigaOm, I've read 3 stories about mobile TV. Veeker is just one example, GigaOm reports.

Ok, I just don't get it. Granted, I think it's a great idea, but I don't think it's deserve of the shower of VC money it's getting. I mean, the numbers are ridiculous (I don't have stats now, I'll try and post some later). And the big names are leading the way.

I really just don't see it as being that cool. I mean, the screens are tiny. Maybe TV on a laptop could be cool, or even a tablet PC, but most of these companies target straight up mobile phones. Maybe I'm severely lacking foresight and vision on this, but who wants to watch TV on a cell phone? I can think of certain circumstances (like the train to work this morning), but I just don't see the market matching the hype.

Most importantly, (this being the point of my post), what do you guys think?


  1. The "train to work" is indeed a much larger market outside the USA in countries more heavily dependent on mass transit. In Seoul, Singapore, and Tokyo, the percent of the population takign mass-transit is vastly larger than in the USA.

    It has been speculated that the comparative popularity of SMS and wireless web services in other countries was also due in part to the fact that their hands spend more time fiddling in a subway car than gripped on a steering wheel (My hands spend most of the time in my pants).

    So the train to work market could indeed be big enough to be viable outside the USA. But countries that aren't the USA are gay.

  2. In the bigger picture, mobile TV could be a 'gateway' feature that helps shorten the adoption time of smartphones. Following newspaper clips and games, why not get a phone with TV?

    For now it might be mobile TV. But as you get people used to paying more and more for services on their phone, who knows what you'll get people to pay for tomorrow.

  3. I wouldn't discount watching tv on the phone. Having worked at MobiTV - they are over 2M subscribers, people paying between 5-15 bux a month to watch TV on their phone. Sure that's still a micro-fraction of the population but it's definitely growing - nobody will argue that.

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