The subscriber figure for the streamed 3G service, called Sky Mobile TV, was unveiled by Sky's strategic planning manager Alan Sewell during a panel debate at City law firm Denton Wilde Sapte on mobile TV.
Vodafone's content development chief Graeme Ferguson told the event that 50% of 3G customers were opting for the free mobile TV offer for 30 days. After that two thirds were staying on as paying customers.
Ferguson said the key challenges for operators considering mobile TV services were getting the business models right, and improving content—which required rights issues to be resolved.
Ray DeRenzo, European business development chief at MobiTV, the mobile television aggregator, said MobiTV was exploring how it might offer access to programmes on-demand as well as to its current array of linear channels.
Asked whether advertising would prove a viable business model for mobile TV, Mike Short, research and development head at O2, said the industry first needed to develop a ratings system equivalent to Barb for TV and Rajar for radio in order to gain advertisers' confidence.
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