Mobile phones? Almost everyone uses one. Mobile video usage? Not so much. For all the promise of mobile video as a new media platform, in the second quarter, there were about 15.3 million active mobile video users, according to a recent Nielsen Mobile Video Report.
This represents just 7% of all those who have mobile phones -- roughly 220 million people in the U.S. The silver lining, of sorts, is that this number is up 70% versus 2008's 10-million subscriber mobile video mark.
Better news comes from cheaper "all you can eat" data packages that include video. Average mobile data packages that include video are priced around $5.73 a month, down about one-third from $8.32 a year ago.
Nielsen says total mobile video subscriptions came to $308 million in the second quarter, up 11% compared to the prior quarter.
Now the bad news:
Half of U.S. mobile subscribers -- 52% -- still carry phones that aren't even capable of viewing video, and that's just a bit better than the 62% number a year ago.
Consumer satisfaction? Iffy. It declined to 65% in the second quarter of this year from 74% in second-quarter 2008.
More troubling: Almost all current mobile video users -- 78% -- are first-year users. As such, Nielsen says they are "testing" the service, then getting rid of it after a year. Nielsen says part of these results come from a weak economy; consumers are looking for better video value.
The findings come from Nielsen's 2Q 2009 Mobile Video Report. Writing about it, Nic Covey, director of insights at The Nielsen Company, said: "Mobile video is a transformational technology that will require real changes or additions to the consumer media diet. As such, it may have a long way to go before making a dramatic impact on our media economy."