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Western Europe to continue growth in mobile entertainment services
Posted: 01-Sep-2005 [Source: Berg Insight]

[Research group Berg Insight sees games, sports, music and multi-media downloads as the leading mobile entertainment content in Western Europe over the next 5 - 7 years and projects growth in these areas to reach 32 billion euro by 2012. ]

Gothenburg, Sweden -- The market for mobile content and entertainment services could grow to around 32 billion Euro in Western Europe, by 2012, according to a new report published by Berg Insight. But although many mobile network operators around Europe such as Orange, TeliaSonera and Vodafone have, or will be launching mobile TV services, these will not be the main services contributing to the surge in mobile content and entertainment revenue within this time-frame. Subscribers will be reluctant to sign up for monthly payments to access TV services until transmission reaches broadcast quality, which is not expected before 2012 in most markets.

That is not to say that TV properties will not contribute to revenue growth at all. TV brands will increasingly cross over onto mobile through selected streamed and downloaded clips, games tie-ins, interactive TV and branded content services as TV producers and broadcasters integrate mobile into their production schedules.

"Most TV rights owners stand to receive just insignificant amounts per download through their revenue share deals with the mobile network operators so only those properties with mass market appeal stand to earn any real money," says the report's author, Julie Robson. "But with some major media brands entering the market we might start seeing some more aggressive deals."

The leading mobile content and entertainment services over the next 5 - 7 years will be games, sport, music and multi-media downloads and content messaging. Adult content will also provide an important revenue stream in many Western European markets, although mobile operators will often prefer to keep a distance from racier content and stick to softer branded "lads mag" type content, e.g. GQ, Loaded and FHM.

"There are so many advanced feature phones in circulation now and people are starting to get accustomed to using these features," noted Robson. "At the moment around 15 percent of mobile subscribers use their phones to access content and entertainment services on a regular basis (i.e. at least once a month), by 2012 we would realistically expect that figure to be 50 percent."

But download services such as ring-tones and icons, which have dominated the mobile content and entertainment market to date, are already falling victim to significant price erosion and gone are the days when mobile operators had the main visible branding on phones. As early as this year, we expect games to overtake the logos and ring-tones as the most popular mobile content and entertainment service category. At the same time, we expect a whole host of familiar brands vying for position on the user interfaces.

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