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EDITORIAL There may be no toilet paper, but there is an upside to Corona virus

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Even if you aren’t yet coughing and feeling rough, you are probably being impacted by Corona virus – not least if you live in the UK, where we appear to have run out of toilet paper.

However, the impact of the global pandemic is starting to bite on all industries including telecoms and, more specifically, telemedia – but not all of it is bad.

While our #unofficialMWC2020 event in Barcelona cocked a snook at the virus, it’s inevitable creep across Europe and the world is starting to bite. First to feel the impact is roaming.

According to Kaleido Intelligence’s Roaming Data Hub – H1 202O, a substantial decline in annual inbound and outbound travel numbers, representing nearly 11% fall in travel volume, is likely to have a big impact on roaming revenues in 2020.

Kaleido had previously estimated a 5.3% y-o-y growth for 2020, with leading travel markets expected to continue growth alongside contribution from emerging markets.

However, following the spread of the Corona virus (SARS-CoV-2, or Covid-19, or, if you are a cockney, ‘the Miley Cyrus’) worldwide, reaching more than 100 countries around the world, the tourism industry is witnessing significant impact in terms of inbound and outbound travel.

This roaming fall off may be counteracted, however, across the telecoms and telemedia markets. Increase in home working could well see an increase in the use of 4 and 5G services – and may well force many to upgrade to 5G to start to make home working more effective.

There is also the fact that, with people suspected of having Corona self-isolating, there is going to be an uptick the consumption of content.

Of course, health and fitness, medical and even dietary services and apps are clearly going to get a boost, but also we may see an increase in March and April in the consumption of all other content.

Already, gaming is booming on mobile, with the entire mobile games market expected to hit $52bn in revenue in 2020, increasing by 6.2% year on year. The rising trend is set to continue in the following years, with the overall market revenue reaching $56.6bn value by 2024.

So finds  GoldenCasinoNews, which joins a growing throng that sees gaming – both gambling and traditional games – as a massive growth area. For example, during 2019, Google Play users showed a significant interest in mobile games, with the number of downloads jumping to a record of 8.58 bn, or 40% more compared to 2016 figures.

One of the reasons for that is the rapid growth in mobile downloads in emerging markets. Over the last three years, India, Brazil, and Indonesia, for example, have witnessed a jump of 190%, 40%, and 70%, respectively. Moreover, China, as the leading mobile games market in the world, witnessed an 80% increase in the number of all app downloads.

This hasn’t been lost on many in the telemedia industry. Speaking at #unofficialMWC2020, Julia DiMambro from Seriously Fresh Media outlined how quality content is now the key demand from consumers and is shaping how the market evolves.

This was echoed by Michael Whelan from ClipFeed, who also explained how users now want more interactive games, more game tutorials and better content around the sports and games that they are interested in.

With more people staying at home this is only going to grow. Sports events are taking place behind closed doors, events are being called off and we are all starting to lock our doors – all this is in fact an opportunity for the mobile, content and VAS industries as it offers the only way to allow people to connect with each other, with events and learning and to keep themselves amused while we await the zombie apocalypse. It could be worse.

>>> For more in-depth news, why not check out Telemedia Magazine – Issue 56 Focused on Making Interactive Media Pay and published in print quarterly.

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