Friday, March 31, 2006

Mobile Content's Worldwide Audience


MARCH 31, 2006

Rumors of the collapse of the music and television industries are greatly exaggerated.

There will undoubtedly be change in these industries as well as some disruption. However, more distribution channels will ultimately mean more listeners, viewers, buyers and subscribers. This adds up to more opportunities for advertisers and marketers.

New support for a robust outlook came in recent study by ABI Research, called "Mobile Music Services." ABI looked at sales around the world, of full-track music downloads to mobile devices. The results revealed a market that was twenty times larger at the end of 2005 than at the end of 2004.

ABI found that global revenue from over-the-air (OTA), downloaded full-track songs last year were $251 million, up from $12.4 million in 2004. The firm forecasts that by 2011 the figure will be a staggering $9.3 billion.

The global market is not, however, homogenous. There are different adoption patterns in different parts of the world and marketers should be aware of them.

"Over-the-air downloads will be relatively less successful in North America because of the high penetration of PCs. Overseas (particularly in Asia), PCs are less prevalent and the mobile phone is more so," said Ken Hyers, principal analyst at ABI. "There wasn't even a Japanese iTunes store until Q4 of 2005."

Looking at the video side of the mobile content business in the US, JupiterResearch recently found evidence that 29% of US mobile phone users are interested in some form of video service on their mobile phone.

While adoption of mobile video on phones in the US has been slow compared with some other markets, JupiterResearch found that, among their respondents, 17% of mobile subscribers were interested in watching "live" TV on their cell phones while 11% indicated interest in short video clips.

"This consumer interest bodes well for the mobile industry as vendors use different business models to try and tap into this consumer demand," said Julie Ask, research director at Jupiter. "The challenge is not interest but rather finding the correct mix of premium content and price points that is lacking in today's offerings."

Anticipating a better mix, a new report from JupiterResearch, entitled "U.S. Wireless Forecast, 2005 to 2010," predicts that growing demand for mobile video content will generate $501 million in revenue by 2010, up from $62 million in 2005.

For more on this rapidly emerging subject, grab a copy of the recently released eMarketer report, Mobile TV for Marketers: Monetizing the Small Screen.


At 12:34 PM, Blogger Rick Lee said...
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