Mobile content wave heading west

James Middleton

January 31, 2007

2 Min Read
Mobile content wave heading west

A buoyant Asian market is expected to drive the value of the global mobile entertainment market from around $17.3bn in 2006 to nearly $77bn by 2011.

Research published Wednesday by industry analyst Juniper Research, forecasts significant increases in the music, games, TV, sports and infotainment, gambling and adult content markets, bolstered by mobile TV and video rich applications.

The Asia Pacific region currently provides the largest market for mobile entertainment, contributing over 40 per cent of global revenues.

Despite more rapid growth in North America and in developing markets, Juniper analyst Bruce Gibson expects AsiaPac to retain its leadership through to 2011, when it will still contribute 37 per cent of global revenues.

Indeed, since going straight in 2003, music subscription service Napster has turned its attentions to the mobile space.

Following on from the debut of its mobile music service with NTT DoCoMo in Japan in November last year, Napster this week signed a similar deal with DoCoMo’s closest rival, KDDI.

For a monthly fee of around $3, KDDI customers receive 300 ‘credits’ which they can use to purchase full length songs and ringtones over the air (OTA), directly to their mobile handset.

Chris Gorog, Napster’s chairman and CEO, anticipates that mobile music will become a multi billion dollar business in Japan over the next few years.

He may well be right. James Randall, commercial director of mobile content research firm GfK/M2, told that Japan is a booming market for mobile content.

“Around 80 per cent of the population access the internet via a PC and about 75 per cent access the internet via mobile,” he said. “Although there is some cross over, these user bases are not the same. Some users only access the internet via their mobile,” he said.

Randall said there is a “growing willingness to spend money on mobile content,” partly because of its “here and now” usage model.

And the phenomenon is not restricted to high tech Asian countries like Japan and Korea. M2 estimates that around 10 per cent of all digital music downloads in Germany in 2006 were on the mobile platform, while the UK mobile content market is worth around £1bn.

Napster Mobile debuted in Europe in December through a partnership with Telefonica’s O2 in Ireland. The music provider also has a partnership with Cingular in the US.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of | Follow him @telecomsjames

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