Mobile content market to reach 7.6 billion Euros by 2006

MUMBAI: According to a new study conducted by the London-headquartered research firm LogicaCMG, consumer demand for mobile downloads will triple by 2006, helping the mobile content market to hit EUR7.6 billion by this time next year.

The firm's research revealed that 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 percent of respondents expressing an expectation for it to rise next year.

LogicaCMG says that with mobile users currently exceeding 1.5 billion (predicted to reach 2 billion by the end of 2005) worldwide, even conservative estimates predict that the global market for downloading content will become a multi-billion euro industry within a year.

According to the report, 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 percent in Asia Pacific, with one in ten also expecting to be downloading full feature films to their mobiles by this time next year, the report says.

According to the study, forty five percent of respondents are particularly looking for ease of payment and 41 percent 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. Additionally, 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.

The study says, on average, 90 per cent of mobile phone users admit to being influenced by marketing promotions offered by their network provider. However, the study revealed that two-thirds of people considering downloading content are looking for incentives linked to the traditional voice calls or short messaging services (SMS).

Chief operating officer at LogicaCMG global telecoms Paul Gleeson said: "This survey proves that a substantial market for mobile content exists, with great opportunities for mobile operators worldwide. Mobile phone users are starting to experiment with their phones' capabilities but, drawing a parallel with the popular SMS experience, it is clear that the service needs to be simple, safe and intuitive from initial browsing through to payment and download. To secure a share in this booming industry, mobile operators need to look at the bigger picture, building strong relationships with customers and content partners alike to deliver high-quality services that meet the markets' needs."

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