Amid ongoing global financial uncertainty, the mobile media industry in 2010 once again proved itself to be a sector marked by sustained growth and innovation.
The Mobile Entertainment Forum’s (MEF) seventh Business Confidence Index Report, in association with KPMG, has revealed that the industry expects to grow by 23% during 2011, demonstrating the continued robustness of this valuable segment of the mobile market.
Some of MEF’s accurate predictions for 2010 included: books emerging as a popular content category for smartphones; challenges to the uncapped flat-rate data tariff model in the wake of increased mobile data usage; the rapid catch-up of Android to challenge Apple in market share; and the spread of micro-payment for content access.
MEF’s forecasts for the top trends in mobile media for 2011 include: M-Commerce achieves scale: Consumers will use their mobile device on a substantial scale to engage with retailers and brands for selecting purchases and completing transactions.
Context over content: Through the increasing use of enabling services (e.g. location & GPS), context will gain significant importance in the race to offer highly personalised services to drive long-term loyalty and user engagement.
Privacy & security: The use of personal information will come under increasing scrutiny in North America and Europe by law makers and regulators as consumer concern and lack of clarity on the usage of personal data grows.
In-app billing under threat: High profile cases of unclear in-app billing and high consumer bills will lead to government involvement and intervention, threatening the ‘freemium’ model in particular.
Mobile social gaming will become the new dominant platform for casual gamers.
Bandwidth issues continue: As network operators look to build out increased capacity via LTE and 4G, the issue of network congestion will remain in the spotlight, with performance remaining a preoccupation for the entire mobile value chain. The debate over who should foot the bill for the provision of content will come to a head.
Mobile vouchers and coupons which combine social media, in-app billing and location based services will be the biggest mobile commerce revenue source for 2011.
Consumers’ expectations of value for money will push down pricing for all forms of mobile content and services, but greater overall consumption will generate increasing revenues.
Multi-platform: 2011 will see the mobile connected device become an integral element of the multi-platform experience for all forms of content and services.
And finally, ‘Mobile First’ markets dominate: Mobile content and services revenue in mobile first markets (where mobile usage is higher than desktop internet adoption) will exceed revenues in developed markets.