As mobile phone penetration reaches saturation point in some regions, network operators seek to achieve differentiation – as well as new subscribers and increased revenue – via content offering, specifically gaming, music and television, according to a new study by Screen Digest.
Gaming as mobile content has been around the longest, with “Snake” the first game made available on handsets, in 1997. The mobile gaming market is worth 1.6 billion euros (1 euro = 1.35 US dollars), with 50% of that revenue based in South Korea and Japan, according to Screen Digest. Growth is slowing, its says, and forecasts that by 2011 revenues will reach just 2 billion euros.
As operators shift focus to music and TV services, the mobile games market will stall unless current business models change, according to Screen Digest mobile analyst David MacQueen.
Screen Digest forecasts that the global over-the-air full track music download market will grow explosively over the next five years, reaching 1.47 billion euros by 2011 – an eight fold increase from 2006. A major growth factor will be the availability of subscription services that offer more than just audio tracks, according to the firm.
TV is the most recent mobile content offering but will emerge as the strongest performer globally, delivering 4.7 billion euros of revenue from 140 million subscribers by 2011, Screen Digest forecasts.
Despite concern that users will not watch TV on small screens, nearly 6 million people watch broadcast mobile TV in Japan and South Korea, for example, and new broadcast networks in Italy have already attracted nearly half a million subscribers in a few months, Digest Screen points out.
“Regulatory and competitive pressures have pushed down the average consumer spend on voice and messaging. Mobile operators must now look to new content offerings to deliver the business growth they’ve enjoyed over the past decade. Screen Digest believes that the revenue is out there – and operators should be looking to TV, music and games to deliver it,” MacQueen said.Â