December 9, 2006
Mobile Content Expected to Gain Major Ground in Next Five Years, Juniper Says

According to new research released this week by UK-based Juniper Research, a boom in mobile content is expected to take place over the next five years, with estimations that the global mobile entertainment market, currently valued at $17.3 billion, will reach $76.9 billion by that time.

This large upswing in content will come along with a shift in the types of mobile entertainment people are consuming over the next five years, their report estimates. While, for now, the majority of mobile content focuses on music, and principally on ringtones (More than 80 percent of mobile music revenues are for ringtones, according to Ben Macklin with eMarketer.), the shift will come with revenue from mobile television and mobile games, which they estimate will exceed the money generated by mobile music by that time.

And, while the U.S. has put anti-Internet gaming legal restrictions in place, gambling is expected to make more revenue than mobile music in other countries as well.

Macklin also highlights that another major shift in mobile media over the next five years, according to Juniper's estimations, is a large increase in the amount of consumption in North America, citing that North America currently makes up only 14 percent of the global market for mobile content, with the Asia-Pacific region and Europe dominating worldwide consumption. However, that is expected to shift somewhat by 2011, according to Juniper's estimations.

One sector expected for an upswing is mobile sports content. As Raj writes on Upcoming Technologies, Juniper has also predicted that sports content revenue will raise from $1 billion today to $3.8 billion in the next five years. Another sector expecting to get quite a rise is the porn industry (and I now realize the crass pun made here), where brwrdrvr with Personal Wireless points out that Juniper's numbers estimate an increase from $1.4 billion in profits now to $3.3 billion by 2011. Does that mean people will be watching porn on their subway commutes to work? DiscussWireless points out that more than two-thirds of that porn watching is in Asia-Pacific and Europe. The amiable_indian over at IndianPad points out that this echoes the way that porn helped drive Internet into video as well. (Henry Jenkins and others would point out that porn and religion are usually the driving forces into most new media forms).

And see Jay Outway's piece at Portension, who prognosticates about potential future changes in power supply for mobile devices and service providers.

We've seen a lot of interesting shifts in mobile offerings over the past several months, such as the Atomic Wedgie content on Sprint, HBO mobisodes through Cingular and Vodafone, and The Office mobile content through I-Play. And, as Ivan Askwith pointed out with the Lost Video Diaries and 24: The Conspiracy, mobisodes can easily be repurposed as DVD extras.

Also, see Parmesh Shahani's short piece about the initial drive for mobisodes in India last November.

And, while video may surpass audio in its supply of mobile entertainment, one can't forget the many ways that text remains an important part of mobile entertainment and news, with offerings like WWE Mobile Alerts.

Macklin philosophizes, "The mobile phone has quickly moved beyond being just a convenient communication device. For many people, carrying a mobile phone means being connected to a wider community, and the device has become the very linchpin of one's social life. The entanglement of humans and electronic devices will only become deeper in the years ahead, and the mobile phone will be at the forefront of that process."

Be sure to see Macklin's inclusion of various graphs from the Juniper report as well.

Thanks to Bryan Searing for passing along Macklin's article.