Consumer demand for mobile downloads is set to triple in the next 12 months, creating a EUR7.6 billion global market for mobile content by this time next year, according to international research announced today by LogicaCMG at its Content Management event in London.
One fifth of mobile phone owners worldwide have already experienced downloading content to their handsets, a percentage expected to rise to 60 per cent in the next 12 months. The survey - covering Europe, Asia Pacific, North and South America - also revealed that average monthly download spend per subscriber is currently EUR6.32, with more than 40 per cent of respondents expressing an expectation for it to rise next year.
Ring tones, games and music are the three most popular downloads in the global content marketplace, a trend set to continue with news and sports also gaining a keen audience in Europe. The market for downloading video and movie clips also showed promise, with more than 10 per cent of mobile phone users worldwide expecting to download such content within 12 months. This number rises to 25 per cent in Asia Pacific, with one in ten also expecting to be downloading full feature films to their mobiles by this time next year.
However, operators face internal and external challenges in their battle to secure the new revenue opportunities from this emerging industry. 45 per cent of respondents are particularly looking for ease of payment and 41 per cent want to be able to share content with friends, which put further pressure on the industry to invest in digital rights management and intelligent payments systems. In addition, the survey revealed that 17 per cent of mobile users are looking for their operator to provide network-based storage for the content that they download.
Some of the concerns expressed by consumers in the study showed that cost of downloading content is often perceived as the predominant prohibitive factor. Furthermore, 22 per cent do not think that their handset is enabled to accept content and the nearly same proportion (20 per cent) say that the process seems too complex. 50 per cent of mobile phone users that commented on concerns relating to content downloaded said security concerns, such as personal details being misused, may prevent them from downloading content, with the potential for overpriced content and mobile fraud also discouraging 40 per cent of mobile users.
The good news for operators is that, on average, 90 per cent of mobile phone users admit to being influenced by marketing promotions offered by their network provider. However, two-thirds of people considering downloading content are looking for incentives linked to the traditional voice calls or short messaging services (SMS).