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UK mobile content market set for boom

The UK mobile content and services market is on the verge of becoming a multi-billion dollar industry, according to new research from telecoms.com’s parent, Informa Telecoms & Media.

The analyst estimates that the UK mobile content market was worth £661m in 2006, with 50 per cent of revenues coming from the “mobile cash rich” 25-34 year olds. But provided the sector can tap into an addressable market approaching 50 per cent of UK mobile users, those revenues look set to skyrocket and foster a more consistent spending behaviour among consumers.

The research forms part of a report, “UK Mobile Content Survey: What Consumers Want”, which analyzes the results of a survey of 2,000 UK mobile subscribers by Informa in association with Orange UK and fieldwork partner Starcom Mediavest.

“Today, the regular buyers of mobile content, those who purchase a minimum of one item of content every three months, represent one fifth of mobile users,” said Nick Lane, principal analyst at Informa and author of the report. “However, the survey uncovers a further 30 per cent of occasional consumers that will purchase at least one item of content per year. If the wireless industry can encourage these occasional spenders to regularly consume content, the addressable mobile content market spend over a three month period will expand by 150 per cent.”

Although 50 per cent of respondents to the survey said mobile content prices were too high, a majority of consumers are willing to spend £5 per month on content and services on top of their voice and messaging fees. Services and content priced above the £5 monthly threshold appeal to less than 5 per cent of UK mobile users.

“This is presenting the industry with a dilemma as premium rate pricing for services such as mobile TV could potentially cannibalise revenues from other services within the mobile content ecosystem,” said Lane. “The door is now wide open for mobile advertising to subsidise mobile content and inflate the mobile content user base.”


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