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Juniper Research WT2020

EDITORIAL Games wins, commerce dips as new corona world order starts to take shape

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It has been another good week for mobile games – and, if the analysts are right, it is set to be a good year or two for the sector.

However, digital commerce – after an initial sprint out of the gate when lockdowns were announced – is set to have more of a bumpy ride.

According to data, the global free-to-play gaming market is set to reach $88.7bn value this year. As the largest revenue stream, mobile games are expected to generate over 75% of that amount.

In 2018, the global free-to-play gaming revenue reached $82.5 bn value, revealed the Super Data Report. Thanks to strong performances from titles like Honour of Kings, Candy Crush Saga and Pokémon GO, mobile free to play games made the largest stare of that amount, with $58.8 bn in revenue the same year. PC and console free-to-play games followed with $21.6bn and $2.1bn, respectively.

From 2020 onwards, this is only going to get bigger – and not even being stuck indoors and unemployment on a scale not seen since the early 20th Century can stop it.

Google Play games are also tipped to do especially well, with Coin Master and Candy Crush, well, crushing it in 2019, with more to come.

Digital commerce, meanwhile, is not on such a solid footing. A new study from Juniper Research found that global spending on digital commerce will fall by 14% in 2020 as lockdowns and reductions in consumer spend are felt. Spending will fall from $11.2 trillion in 2019 to $9.7 trillion.

Juniper believes that digital commerce spend will recover in 2021, but between now and then there is going to be turbulence.

While things quieten down on the news front as lockdowns and pandemic panic take hold, the stellar performance of games out of all the eSports and digital content markets – and that includes ecommerce, which hasn’t had the boost, yet, that many expect – is testament to what is hot in telemedia right now.

While locked down people want to be entertained. However, with such insecurity around income, small, digital spends are going to be key. This is again evidence that carrier billing and the kind of services it is designed to sit behind could prove to be the platform of choice going forward.

We all want this crisis to be over and to emerge, if not into the same world we left behind, but a better one: and that means a world that also features carrier billing in a much more prominent role.

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