‘Paying by mobile’ for digital downloads predicted to explode

5 Aug 2008

Research released today predicts that 2.1 billion mobile subscribers around the world will ‘pay by mobile’ for digital goods downloaded to their mobile phones by 2013.

Digital goods are defined as music (ringtones and full tracks), tickets, TV, user-generated content, infotainment and games – any content bought by phone and delivered to the phone.

The region-by-region analysis by Juniper Research in the UK found there is significant growth opportunity not only for mobile payment systems, software, support and consultancy services vendors, but also for mobile operators to increase their average revenue per user as transaction frequencies accelerate.

“Many digital content goods and services are becoming basic ‘must haves’ – particularly in the sub-35 age group. Devices like the iPhone – even in its 3G incarnation – are undoubtedly contributing to consumer awareness and usage of mobile music services,” said report author, Howard Wilcox.

“People who are 15 to 20 today will expect to buy directly with their phones and will drive this market over the next few years.”

Other findings in the report include a forecast that users will make at least two payment transactions a month for digital goods by 2013; and the two leading regions (western Europe and Far East & China) will account for over 50pc of the total digital goods gross transaction market value by 2013.

“Even though typical transaction sizes will remain in the $3-5 bracket, a sufficient number of users will be using their mobile phones to buy music, games, tickets, infotainment and other digital goods sufficiently often to see gross transaction value grow nearly seven-fold by 2013,” said Wilcox.

By Sorcha Corcoran