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Mobile Users Prefer To ‘Watch’ Video With Their Ears, New Study Says

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2014 – A neurological research study released today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has scientifically proven that mobile users prefer to “watch” video with their ears.

By measuring the brain activity and impulses of viewers watching mobile video, researchers at New York-based neuro-marketing firm Neuro-Insight were able to show that audio delivered in Headphone:X™ generated a much bigger pleasure reaction than video.

“Headphone:X audio was the clear winner in this study,” said Pranav Yadav, CEO of Neuro-Insight. “When we switched to enhanced audio, the patterns of brain activity seen were similar to those seen when we eat something we find enjoyable, hear a funny joke or, for that matter, anticipating the ‘high’ associated with an addictive drug. Increasing the video quality did not achieve the same results or reactions.”

“The results we saw were groundbreaking,” continued Yadav. “Audio is a key component of an audio-visual experience—mobile users simply liked the content a lot more with Headphone:X audio even when the video quality was not as high, as compared to seeing the same visual stimulus with higher quality video but ordinary audio.”

Geir Skaaden, senior vice president for audio technology company DTS, Inc., which commissioned the research, said that the “Sound Matters” study contains a major lesson for the mobile operator and online video communities that could impact the way they manage and maximize precious bandwidth.

“Audio enhanced by Headphone:X really takes up very little bandwidth and can be delivered at a much lower cost than higher quality video,” Skaaden said. “Operators who re-balance their use of bandwidth to offer enhanced audio will not only save money, but they will also deliver an immediate improvement in the customer experience.”

“The study shows conclusively that streaming an audio track enhanced with Headphone:X alongside a standard definition video delivers increased enjoyment over even the highest quality—and bandwidth hungry—video,” he added.

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