Portable Media Players Will Boom: Study

The number of portable media players with video capability will grow at an annual rate of 30% over the next five years, according to a new study from Parks Associates, which predicts 132 million units shipped in 2011 alone. In the United States and abroad, most of these devices will use Flash memory, rather than hard drives, allowing manufacturers to make smaller devices that consume less power.

A key driver of this growth will be the expansion of broadband video services around the world, according to the forecast. Harry Wang, a senior analyst with Parks, observed: "Video capability fuels the upgrade demand from existing device owners, and more content, especially free and short online video clips, gives consumers the incentive to upgrade" from audio-only players.

The boom in portable media players is good news for mobile video advertisers, provided they can figure out an appropriate ad model. According to a separate report on mobile TV and video published by eMarketer in July, 41% of Americans said they would watch advertisements in return for free mobile video content. Meanwhile, a study published in June by research firm Telephia tallied total mobile video revenues of $146 million in the first quarter of 2007--a 198% increase over the first quarter of 2006. Telephia said mobile video subscriptions grew 155% to 8.4 million over the same period.



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