Enhanced mobile content poses a threat to other media : Nokia survey

MUMBAI: Content providers across the globe are hedging their bets on the fact that the mobile is going to open up a considerable source of revenue. A Nokia survey has bourne them out.

A study done by the mobile service provider that spanned nine countries revealed that the respondents are willing to pay 28 per cent more for mobile content services than they pay for their current services today. The survey also found that the medium is strongly skewed towards the youth. The older the respondent gets the less he/she is willing to pay.

The main findings of the study indicate consumers have a preference for entertainment content and information that is considered useful while they are out and about. Overall, enhanced content services seem to generate high interest and when fully available could even lead consumers to reduce their usage of newspapers, TV and the Internet.

Men and women are equally interested in mobile content. The exception is sports. 52 per cent of men are interested compared to just 29 per cent for women.

One of the key factors in the growth of mobile content will be how the content providers are able to differentiate among the age groups. They will also need to carry out explanative campaigns to get the message clearly across to their consumers about what is on offer.

In general, the preferred delivery method seems to be browsing, rather than downloading or streaming. However this depends on the kind of content that is being accessed. Downloading is of value for gaming and music while streaming and browsing are seen as best suited where information is updated frequently.

When accessing local news, there is a high preference for streaming or downloading. Not surprisingly the delivery mechanisms do not drive the amount of money consumers are willing to pay. That is driven by the kind of content.

Current mobile content usage is dominated by downloading ringtones which are used by 40 per cent of the respondents. This is followed by icons/screen-savers (22 per cent). However, current mobile content services are perceived as being too expensive.

For example, 48 per cent of those respondents who have never used any content service rank cheaper services as the prime factor that would entice them to use content services.

Marketing, technical issues are also crucial : The study also showed how technical and attitudinal issues will be barriers unless properly addressed by improved service design, marketing and support. These issues vary by age group. For example, older consumers need greater education and hand-holding. Younger users have different expectations about ease due to their greater experience using the Internet.

This difference in attitude could be an issue for operators in mature markets of the US, Europe and Asia where the population is aging and is more affluent than the younger segments. On a brighter note the research showed that quite straightforward changes will be able to overcome the current barriers

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