Mobile set for content explosion

Mobile services in Europe will be mulling over this morning’s news from Japan, where the Japanese market for mobile music purchases jumped 42 per cent last year, reaching a value of ¥1.1 trillion, by far the biggest growth story of an otherwise explosive year for the mobile business sector.
Gadget-familiar Japanese conduct ever more of their business through their mobile, taking full advantage of the advanced mobile infrastructure in the country. The value of all forms of business – everything from buying gear from online shops to web site subscriptions and ring tones – hit $100 billion for the first time last year, said the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Music was the biggest market of the lot, while mobile gaming saw 13 per cent gains.
Meanwhile, a Frost and Sullivan report released today suggests that the European mobile market has reached full penetration, urging investment in new services and applications – particularly deployments toward mobile content, are required.
The analysts say the market (including revenues from mobile music, mobile games, mobile video/TV and mobile graphics) was worth €2.68 billion in 2007 and is estimated to reach €11.0 billion in 2012.
“Content is the new horizon for the European mobile industry,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Saverio Romeo. “During the last three years, mobile operators have been observing a slow, but continuous decline in the average revenue per user (APRU) due to the decrease of voice and SMS ARPU. New sources of revenues are needed: content is an excellent candidate.”
Content types such as music, video/TV and games are leading this growth. However, new services and applications such as mobile social networking, mobile searching and location-based services are gaining momentum.
“In order to exploit the variety of revenue-generated business opportunities, the industry has to face some critical challenges,” cautions Romeo. “Consumers will use content on mobile devices if the industry is able to offer high-quality content with an excellent user experience at affordable prices.”

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