Olympics Go Mobile: Half of Viewers Plan to Watch Games on Devices

Friday, 27 Jul 2012 02:02 PM

By Patrick Hobin

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Almost half of Olympics viewers plan to watch a portion of the games on their laptops, another third on their tablets and 27 percent on their smartphones, according to SmartMoney.com.

Tech-industry insiders told SmartMoney.com that this year’s games, with its billions of viewers and with NBC streaming the games in their entirety, could boost mobile video’s status as the most important source for news, entertainment and, sports since the advent of network and cable broadcasting.

“The Olympics are going to be a watershed event for content consumption on mobile devices,” Jeremy Helfand, a vice president with Adobe, which is working with NBC on the network’s official mobile apps, told SmartMoney.com.

TV will remain the chief medium to watch the games. In 2008, which was two years before the iPad and before the explosion of smartphone sales, 4.7 billion viewers tuned in to the Beijing games. But mobile viewing is expected to play a much bigger role than before. A survey conducted earlier this month by TechBargains, a product guide, found that 46 percent of respondents planned to watch at least a portion of games on their laptops, 31 percent on their tablets and 27 percent on their smartphones.

Martin Hayward, a director with Mirror Image Internet, a company that specializes in mobile streaming, told SmartMoney.com that once a person sees some of the Olympic action on a friend’s device, it will mean one more mobile convert: “When they see the quality of the picture, they’re going to be convinced they have to get an iPad,” he said.

An unprecedented number of media outlets will cover and carry the London games in a format tailor-made for laptops, tablets and smartphones, SmartMoney.com reported. The International Olympic Committee has its own YouTube Channel and athletes are providing video updates via their own Web sites and social media pages.


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