Social networking to drive mobile market as UGC revenues set to hit $7bn

The total value of the mobile user-generated content market, including social networking, dating and personal content delivery services, will rise from nearly £617.5m in 2008 to more than £4.1bn in 2013, according to research from Juniper Research.

This increase will be sparked by growth in social networking, which is set to eclipse dating to become the largest revenue generating segment for the mobile UGC market by 2009, according to a report compiled by Juniper.

The number of active users of mobile social networking sites is expected to rise from 54 million in 2008 to nearly 730 million in 2013.
Advertising is also set to play a larger role in the UGC space, accounting for nearly one third of total revenues by 2013.

Dr Windsor Holden, author of the report, stated: “It’s clear that we have seen an industry-wide shift regarding the implementation of business models in this area. Whereas initially there was a perception that users would pay a small mobility premium to access social networks on their handsets, it rapidly became clear that to achieve truly mass adoption, it would be necessary to offer free membership and then to augment that with advertising and the sale of premium content.”

Juniper’s report also revealed that while the iPhone had substantially increased public awareness of mobile content services, there was significant scope for improvement with regards to the marketing of such services within the industry as a whole.