Suggesting that a lot of Canadians are watching the Olympics is a little like suggesting a lot of people use the internet to look up “explicit content” – it isn’t exactly news. But it isn’t the “what” in this state of affairs that makes for fascinating contemplation; it’s the “how.”
Bell Mobility has been trying to push its Mobile TV since the Olympics in Beijing and with BCE Inc.’s Bell Canada as one of the biggest sponsors of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, it stands to reason that Bell would be pushing the living crap out of Mobile TV again.
This time, the push seems to have paid off as Bell has seen mobile viewership of the Olympics go up by over 200%. Now sure, Bell’s big numbers have an awful lot to do with the fortune they spent on becoming the exclusive telecommunications provider of the Olympics, but that doesn’t mean that the rise in mobile viewership is insignificant to companies outside of Bell’s influence.
Indeed, the whole Bell/Olympics lesson goes to demonstrate just how much people are doing with their phones. Bell’s been able to use its new wireless network to parlay a slew of mobile viewers, offering the company an opportunity to demonstrate its capacity for new smart phones and the myriad capabilities those little guys allow for.
So what does this all mean? It means more services and more products can be expected that hone in on the lessons Bell’s learning from Vancouver 2010. It means we can expect to see more marketing and more aggravating television commercials featuring people having “normal conversations” in front of a massive Bell insignia as the company begins to promote more mobile viewership options for upcoming events.
And it also means that the other two members of Canada’s Big Three will get in on the act, so we can look ahead to to seeing more people flirting in the snow and more charming animals whoring it up for a tiny paycheque and, I imagine, some carrots.
With the raw data over Bell’s Olympic-sized coup finally emerging, it’s easy to see why a little piece of the mobile viewership pie will mean an awful lot to any of Canada’s providers. Hourly Olympic highlights gave Bell a 56% increase in video-on-demand service revenue, for instance, while they received a 198% increase in live TV streams over their network.
The litmus test is over, it appears, and Bell has proven that people are more than willing to pay for this sort of content on their mobile devices. With the ever-expanding smart phone sector offering more capabilities to more people and with networks escalating exponentially, the mobile viewership sector is definitely one to keep an eye or two on.