Mobile TV and mobile video services offered over broadcast and unicast distribution are projected to grow almost ten-fold from an estimated user base of over 57 million at the end of 2007 to 566 million users in 2013 according to market research group NSR. Much of that growth will come from free broadcast services and unicast video as a result of broadcaster involvement in mobile broadcast distribution, 3G network expansion and user/operator involvement in user-generated content (UGC) and web-mobile social networking integration.

Global service revenues comprising subscription, advertisement and transactional revenue are projected to reach $9 billion by 2013. Advertisement will exhibit the highest growth as a result of the expected proliferation of free broadcast services and ad-supported video. However, despite the long-term promise of the highly-engaging mobile video advertisement, NSR highlights the embryonic stage of mobile advertisement and believes that by 2013, mobile TV advertisement revenue will still be far from reaching its full potential.

Based on the user adoption successes of free services in Japan and Korea, NSR expects that broadcasters in the process of digitising will be vital during the initial phase of audience building and that broadcast standards fragmentation will possibly never disappear. Although network fragmentation is not desirable, its occurrence at other levels of the mobile TV supply chain can more negatively affect mobile TV growth.

"The emergence of enabling platforms bringing liquidity to distribution, advertisement and application building will play key a role towards cooperatively overcoming current fragmentation issues" stated Carlos Placido, Analyst for NSR and author of the report. "Platforms will help to make the mobile TV ecosystem efficient enough to attract the much-needed targeted advertisement revenue that would ultimately propel this application into a virtuous economic cycle."