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Endemol Says Mobile Video Thrives With Ad Support

Jan 15, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Television producer Endemol UK generated a tenfold increase in usage of mobile video clips for “Big Brother” in the United Kingdom when it transitioned to an ad-supported model for the clips.

The current season of the celebrity version of the show in the U.K. has generated 10 times the number of mobile downloads for the ad-supported clips compared with last year, when the show attracted more than 100,000 paid downloads, said Peter Cowley, managing director of digital media at Endemol UK.

“Big Brother” also experienced an exponential increase in usage on broadband when it moved to an ad-supported model, Mr. Cowley said during the opening keynote at Monday’s NATPE Mobile ++ conference in Las Vegas. In 2005, viewers paid to download about 5,000 to 10,000 clips online. That figure rose to 24 million downloads in 2006 when the show transitioned to an ad-supported broadband model.

“We are big believers that you can’t fleece the consumers for too much money. You’ve got to get the advertisers to pay,” Mr. Cowley said. “The market in the U.K. for video-based advertising is just starting to kick off.”

TV producers have expressed interest in exploring ad-supported models for mobile content, but they’ll face challenges as many consumers don’t want to see ads on their phones. A study by the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau last fall found that the mobile phone is the video screen on which consumers have the lowest tolerance for ads.

Endemol took one of the first steps into the mobile business six years ago when it introduced text and telephone voting for “Big Brother.”

(Editor: Baumann)