Explosive growth expected for Mobile Entertainment

According to a recent report from the market research bureau Informa Telecoms & Media, the worldwide market of Mobile Entertainment will more than double in the coming 5 years, with an expected revenue of 38 billion dollar in 2011. For suppliers and transporters of mobile music, TV and video services and mobile games there are some pretty years ahead.

Mobile music services remain popular
Mobile music today represents about two third of the revenue of mobile entertainment services. In 1998, this industry took a moderate start with the supply of monotone ring tones. The past few years it has grown out to become a worldwide billion dollar business, a strong resource of revenue for the music industry.
Typically, a distinction is made between personalisation services (for example ring tones, ringback tones) and consumption services (full-track downloads and streaming). While the personalisation services are stagnating, a strong growth is expected for the consumption services. This growth is driven by alternative prices of data transport, more bandwidth and better, more personalised search engines.

Mobile TV and video, the future killer app?
Since a few years, mobile TV and video services are being labeled as the future ‘killer app’ for the mobile phone. The introduction of high quality displays, 3G networks and adapted content ensure the build-up of a significant user base. A positive push for mobile video is also expected from Web 2.0 video sharing applications, which allow the mobile phone to be used as a recharging device.
We will still have to wait a few more years for the general use of mobile TV in Belgium. For the time being, the price tag of data services, the limited penetration of adapted devices as well as the lack of clarity concerning transmission protocols are the main obstacles. On the positive side, we notice a good collaboration on this domain between the mobile operators and the television corporations.

Mobile games

Mobile games, especially popular in Asia
Despite the fact that mobile games represent more than 10% of the mobile entertainment revenue, they are only used frequently by a limited group of ‘early adopters’. In most Western markets only about 5% of the subscribers have already bought mobile games. On the Asian markets, in particular South-Korea and Japan, that number is already a lot higher. For many game producers such as Ubisoft and Gameloft, mobile games already mean a higher revenue than the traditional console games. This market will further grow as a result of larger ‘try-before-buy’ possibilities and the introduction of online multi-player games on mobile platforms.

It goes without saying that the mobile phone is ultimately convenient for the consumption of entertainment. To give this industry further impulses in Belgium, it will be necessary to have adapted prices for data traffic as well as an accelerated penetration of multimedia devices. Which means a lot of work for the mobile operators, especially now they’re confronted with decreasing revenues from mobile calls.

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