Mobile Carriers and Content Owners Won’t Give Out Usage Data On Mobile Video

For all the talk by the major mobile carriers and content owners of how "successful" their mobile video offerings are, none of them that I speak to are willing to give out any usage data that we can use to truly judge their "success". Last week, I asked Sprint for any data pertaining to the full-length NFL games they have started broadcasting to handsets but was told they didn't have any data to share, primarily because they don't want to tip off the competition.

MediaFLO, who's service is offered in a partnership with AT&T and Verizon, won't say how many users it has for the service. And Verizon, which in September added more full-length shows to their VCast offering, won't say how many users they have, how many hours of content has been viewed or even how many pieces of content have been consumed.

Of course that has not stopped any of the carriers from proclaiming their services as being, and I quote, "widely successful, "having tremendous growth" and giving out completely generic and useless data like "viewership increased by 100%". And while I have seen some research reports state the size of the mobile video market in the U.S. and what it is expected to grow to in the future, I can't seem to get research houses to say where those numbers come from. What is the data behind these projections? Is there any or is it a complete guess?

I am constantly being pitched by various carriers in the space who want the media to talk about how "successful" their mobile video offerings are, yet they give us no data at all to make their case. How are we suppose to talk about their video offerings in the market when we have no usage data, penetration rates, consumption numbers, and trending statistics? So why won't the mobile carriers release more data on mobile video usage? I can only guess it is because the numbers are so small they feel that releasing them will look like their offering is a failure. But we have to start somewhere, we need data to build off of. Has anyone seen any of the major carriers release any data like this to the industry? If so, I'd love to see where you found it.