Dyle’s over-the-air digital TV service, viewed as a hedge against Aereo, is still relatively wet behind the ears, but a new study conducted with Rentrak offered a glimpse at how consumers are using the mobile video platform and for how long.
The average Dyle mobile TV device tunes in for more than 20 minutes per day, with local and national network news representing more than half the viewing time in some local markets, according to usage data compiled by Rentrak’s TV Essentials service.
With news as the most-watched, it’s no surprise then to learn that usage spikes tend to occur during “critical news cycles.” Among recent examples, total viewing minutes jumped 96% versus the week prior during the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
Dyle said 45% of mobile TV viewing occurred between the hours of 6 a.m. and 4 p.m., while 36% of viewing happened in the home.
"The work we've done over the past two and a half years to make live, local broadcast a reality is becoming more and more tangible based on the measurement and results derived from the Rentrak information," said Salil Dalvi, co-general manager of Mobile Content Venture (the J.V. that developed the Dyle service), in a statement.
Dyle’s service, which is backed by 12 major broadcast groups, is currently offered in 37 U.S. markets covering about 57% of the U.S. population. It uses a slice of the digital broadcast spectrum to deliver an encrypted, live digital TV signal that’s optimized for mobile devices. Users can receive those signals via specialized antennas that snap into mobile devices, such as iPhones and iPads.
Being able to track usage will become of increasing importance as broadcasters weigh their mobile TV options amid the emerging threat of Aereo. Others include CBS-backed Syncback, which delivers a simulcast of the broadcast TV feed over cellular and broadcast networks. Syncbak and Nielsen recently announced they had completed a two-week technical trial in New York City and Los Angeles that verified they were able to capture and measure live TV viewing on the Syncbak platform.
ABC, meanwhile, has launched WatchABC, an app that offers the broadcaster’s live TV feed in Philadelphia and New York City. Following a free preview, the WatchABC live TV feed will be restricted to authenticated pay-TV subscribers starting Monday, July 1.
Update: On Monday, the broadcaster announced it has launched an authenticated version of the WatchABC in four additional markets : Los Angeles (KABC-TV); Chicago (WLS-TV); San Francisco (KGO-TV); and Raleigh-Durham (WTVD-TV) markets.