Wednesday, April 05, 2006

MocoNews reports Netsize expectations for WAP payments increase

@ MES: The European Mobile Entertainment Market

Related Topics: Europe, CTIA, PaymentsPermalink - Comments (0) [by james]

Stanislas Chesnais, CEO of Netsize, gave a talk on the European mobile content market, with some pretty interesting figures. Mobile data accounts for about 20% of operator revenues, on an ARPU of $42-60. More than 70% of mobile content is sold off the carriers' portals, and Chesnais expected this figure to increase to around 90% in two years...what does this say about the walled garden?

As per usual it is the 16-26 year old age bracket which is the highest user group...these people and those following have grown up with mobile and know they're going to pay for content (in the words of Chesnais, they've "been trained on how to buy things with mobile").

There's some interesting stuff going on with mobile payments, with Chesnais saying that it wouldn't be a single dominant system but a number of different channels based on what is most appropriate. He said SMS payments will fade and be replaced with WAP billing (where people will be informed they'll be charged for a page and then click, or not) and interactive video dialling and streaming. This is where you dial a number and the content is streamed to your phone, and you'll be charged on a per-minute basis.

Of course, there have been several billing scandals which have damaged the mobile content industry in Europe, particularly the subscription model, so the industry is desperately scrambling to clean up its act. As a result, "acquisition costs will be higher," said Chesnais. "If you cannot cheat the user your return will be lower than before, but in the long run it will be better."

Other predicted growth areas are pretty much the same as everywhere: mobile tv, full track music downloads, music/video content downloads which will have payment bundled with data traffic charging, community management and multiplayer gaming, and gambling...this last relies on the efforts of several European countries (led by the UK) to encourage the EU to pass a directive allowing this...

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