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Multi-platform TV - is it what viewers really want?

ITV is making all of its channels available to view live via mobile phone but will anyone be watching? Here you can see a short video on how viewers want to watch television and what they think about TV on the web and mobile phones.

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As well as streaming all channels live, ITV is also planning to extend its ITV.com video-on-demand service onto mobile phones after it launches on the web, writes Nikki Sandison. Viewers will be able to access any ITV show broadcast within the previous 30 days, as well as an archive of 20,000 hours of programming. The move comes in response to ITV's predictions that its TV advertising revenues will fall 9.6% in the first half of this year. The ITV programmes viewed live on mobiles will run with the same ads as the broadcaster's TV channels. Advertisers will also be able to exploit clickable video opportunities to direct viewers to branded mobile sites, pre-roll spots airing before content and bespoke ads around non-live clips.

While mobile operators and broadcasters are increasingly investing in mobile TV, a report has predicted that mobile TV uptake will only hit 6% by 2010. Continental Research's International Convergence report indicates that the UK will be slow to adopt the technology and that other applications for mobile are more likely to be taken up as handsets lend themselves more to other functions.  It predicts that 24% of the UK population will access the internet on their mobile in 2010 and 21% will use theirs as an MP3 player. The report also predicted that 15% of the UK adult population would download TV from the internet in 2010.

All the major broadcasters have launched IPTV and web TV services as traditional TV viewers move towards the web. The BBC has iPlayer, Channel 4 has 4oD, Five has Five Download and ITV has itv.com.  The market is also being shaken up by the launch of three new providers of web TV services. Joost and Babelgum are funded entirely by advertising whereas Jalipo will charge users to access content but may bring advertising into the mix longer term. Channel 4 ditched its paid-for model on its video-on-demand catch-up service, 4oD, after only three months, in favour of a largely free ad-supported model.   Online TV is allowing broadcasters to attract discrete customer groups who wouldn't normally advertise on television and it is allowing brands that advertise online to reach consumers who are gravitating away from the TV set.

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