GigaOM and PaidContent report that MobiTV raised another significant round of money ($30 million), bringing the company’s outside funding total to over $100 million. MobiTV has a number of deals and, according to GigaOM, a million direct subscribers. For example, MobiTV is behind AT&T’s broadband/PC TV effort.
If my memory serves me, Webvan raised over $1 billion from investors to build a massive distribution infrastructure only to go out of business because it “misunderestimated” (as George Bush might say) consumer behavior and other factors. There was too ambitious a plan, too many costs and a fundamental misreading of the consumer marketplace. It’s too bad because it was a good service.
Given all the money now flooding into MobiTV and the company’s emphasis on delivering video over wireless phones, I’m lead to make the comparison.
While many consumers do seem willing to watch full-length programming on their PCs today, although it’s a clear minority, that cannot equally be said about mobile phones. A number of 2006 consumer studies by RBC Capital Markets, AOL and the LA Times have indicated very limited interest in watching video (certainly full-length programs/videos) on cellphone screens.
Of course as devices improve and the mobile TV experience gets better all this might change. But right now the picture’s pretty clear . ..