The market for premium mobile content will exceed US$44bn in 2011, research firm iSuppli Corp has predicted, more than double the US$20bn it is expected to generate this year.
Mobile video will drive this market, according to iSuppli Corp.
At present, the mobile video market remains highly fragmented with uncertain business models, technology standards and consumer usage models and uncertainly still reigning around content rights.
Because of this the mobile video market will develop incrementally, iSuppli Corp said, but offers the biggest potential returns out of all mobile content. It forecast the combined streaming and broadcast mobile video markets to exceed US$6bn in 2008, up from US$1bn this year.
Significant differences in growth rates between geographic regions are also emerging.
In Asia, India leads compound annual growth rate (CAGR) growth of non-messaging data revenue at 40.4pc; Italy is tipped to see the strongest non-messaging data revenue CAGR through 2011 among major Western European countries, at 29pc, with video expected to dominate Italy’s mobile content revenue by 2011, followed by games, supplanting ringtones which represent the strongest segment today; and Brazil will see a 41pc CAGR for non-messaging data revenue.
“Data and content revenues are the life preservers to which wireless operators are clinging as voice average revenue per user (ARPU) declines accelerated during the quarter for the 20 key operators tracked by iSuppli,” said Mark Kirstein, vice-president with iSuppli. “Across the 20 key operators tracked by iSuppli, aggregate voice ARPU in the first quarter declined by 6pc sequentially compared to the fourth quarter of 2006. Meanwhile, mobile data ARPU increased by 1pc sequentially. Data ARPU is particularly strong among North American operators, where both messaging revenue and mobile multimedia content are seeing strong growth.”
ISuppli also reported nearly 20pc of revenue for the 20 key wireless operators is now associated with data, growth in ringtone sales is slowing and mobile gaming is growing significantly, particularly in Asia.
By Niall Byrne