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Consumption patterns for portable video

Last year at CES everyone was talking about portable media players. While getting a demo from Archos I couldn’t get past one nagging question, “When the hell would I watch this?”

With Apple’s entrance into this space with the video iPod the question still hasn’t been answered. Jobs himself has admitted that he doesn’t really know why someone would want video on an iPod but is prepared to let the market evolve.

Think of your day, when do you have time to provide undivided attention to a small screen? If you commute you may have some time to watch a short video or catch up on your missed TV shows. But most people don’t have that undivided attention time in the day. Your ability to consume this content is constrained by lifestyle.

Whether it is downloadable clips or streaming television the technology is very cool. In fact, the ability to deliver video to devices has out paced the consumer need. Portable video is being driven not so much by consumer demand but by corporate need to find new revenue sources.

The consumption patterns for these devices will not be what we think. In the short term people may find that watching the latest episode of Lost on their iPod is cool but in the long term these devices will find uses that we are only beginning to consider.

Jon Lax More posts by Jon Lax