Low mobile video quality and data-charge fears will let down a third of Europe's World Cup fans
Published on: 5th Jun 2014
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
Research commissioned by Openwave Mobility, across UK, Spain and Germany has revealed that 1 in 3 British consumers who would love to watch the Brazilian World Cup on a mobile device are put off by poor mobile video quality and fears of "bill shock" from their operators.
The dissatisfaction with pricing and the quality of mobile video are some of the findings from the independent survey which interviewed over 2,200 mobile users across the three countries last month (May 2014).
Subscribers from the previous World Cup winners Spain were three times more likely (68%) to watch the likes of Sergio Ramos or Xabi Alonso in action on a mobile device than UK subscribers watching Roy Hodgson's men.
However there was disappointing news from Europe's smartphone savvy football fans when it came to data charges and the quality of mobile video. Of the people who would like to watch the games on mobile, 1 in 3 Brits will refrain from doing so due to fears of bill shock or expectation of poor video quality. In Germany - three times World Cup winners- similarly 1 in 3 said they would refrain due to fears around bill shock but a huge 1 in 2 quoted appalling mobile video quality as the reason for staying indoors with a conventional TV set. In Spain there was less criticism with only1 in 4 subscribers quoting bill shock fears and quality of mobile video as factors deterring them from watching the World Cup on mobile.
John Giere, CEO at Openwave Mobility commented: "Mobile operators must capitalize on the exponential demand for video. A major event like the World Cup does not only generate instantaneous revenues, it can also change habits as people who were not mobile video users realise that this is a great way to keep up with the action. As part of the research, we also looked at the growth in mobile video from the 2010 World Cup. Across Europe we saw 2 to 4 times as many people wanting to view at least part of the games on mobile in 2014. This is not just due to an increase in smartphone penetration, that was already high in 2010. This is more about the increasing penetration of mobile video as an activity people can engage with and enjoy. Unfortunately it seems that much of this momentum will be lost through the old perceptions of high price and low quality."
The survey also asked consumers if they were prepared to pay their mobile operators for high quality mobile video. Interestingly, despite the fears described over unknown data charges, of those people wanting to watch the games on mobile 43% of Spanish, 34% of German and 21% of British subscribers were all happy to pay a fixed fee, ie a video-service subscription fee, to their mobile operator for HD quality World Cup footage. Giere continued: "The fact is that consumers are happy to pay a fee for a service that delivers quality and gives them a great user experience. It is now more important than ever for mobile operators to meet the insatiable appetite for mobile video and monetize their data."