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Mobile Entertainment Services Booming

LONDON – Mobile entertainment services will generate over $27 billion by 2008 and will have over 2.5 billion users, according to the new report ‘Mobile Entertainment Applications and Markets’ from mobile industry analysts, the ARC Group.

In the early stages of development, mobile music will be the main market driver, with considerable impetus added by mobile gaming services and applications.

Games content fully utilises the advances in handset technology and form factor developments, such as screen resolution and colour, to advertise the potential of the mobile device as an entertainment access mechanism. To expand – in order for operators to succeed in new data driven markets they must re-educate users from voice models of use to data models of use. Currently gaming makes best use of the potential of data services and educates the end user into the bargain. More importantly it does this without recourse to confusing techno babble likely to alienate the end-user. Paul Merry, Research Analyst at ARC comments, “Musical content adds to the attractiveness of the mobile device as an entertainment portal enhanced by developments including polyphonic ringtones and music download and streaming technologies. Mobile video will further enhance this experience although truly compelling video content relies on next generation networks unlikely to be prevalent until 2008″.

This compelling audiovisual environment will benefit further from the viral marketing potential of mobile devices and specific models of use based on group interaction such as P2P communication, multiplayer gaming and LBS.

Key concerns identified by the Mobile Entertainment reports authors include the issues of pricing for premium content, billing, revenue share and the management of the complex relationships that will develop between existing and new players in the value chain.

Further issues relate to the potential of adult and gambling wireless services and the requirement to balance this potential with the need to police and regulate services across geographical, societal and legal boundaries across numerous diverse markets. Dan Winterbottom, a member of the reports research team affirms, “mobile operators are keen to try and replicate the success of adult content on the Internet, but unless they tread extremely carefully, they will fall foul of regulators”.

“The state of the telecoms industry and investments made in third generation licenses demand identification and development of services and content that will become successful and produce a tangible ROI. Already mobile music applications are returning almost $4 billion and this figure is set to increase by 75% from 2003 to 2008. Mobile games revenue is set to explode increasing over this same period by 638%”, Merry states.

Further, the various categories of mobile entertainment will collectively produce a forecast CAGR of 27.56% between 2003-2008 compared with a forecast CAGR of 6.41% for voice revenues over the same period. Concluding Merry affirms, “within such a market mobile entertainment becomes a key facilitator for continued growth and industry development”.

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