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Online gaming and dating to fuel $150bn digital content market by 2019, finds Juniper Research – and m-payments holds the key

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Mobile and online games, along with dating services are going to propel the value of the global digital content market to $154 billion annually by 2019, an increase of nearly 60% on 2014, says a new study by Juniper Research. And key to getting this money in will be m-payments.

Juniper Research will be keynoting at the M-Payments Summit 2015 on 9 June in London, kicking off a day dedicated to showing businesses in the gaming, dating, chat, entertainment, media, gambling and other verticals how to use m-payments to both drive revenue and engagement. Charge to mobile is set to be one of the key ways to secure this $150bn revenue opportunity, believes the analyst.

According to the company’s report, Digital Content Business Models: OTT & Operator Strategies 2015-2019, online and mobile games will account for the largest share of content sales (38% of cumulative revenues), with game formats continuing to transition from physical to digital. It cited the success of platforms such as Valve’s Steam (which now has over 125 million active accounts worldwide) as key drivers in this evolution, while revenues from consoles/handhelds were diminishing as players migrated their gameplay to tablets and higher-end smartphones.

Strong growth is also expected to come in the Lifestyle segment, where dating services such as Match.com, eHarmony and Zoosk are seeing marked uplifts in revenues from their mobile channels.

The research also highlighted a dual paradigm shift in content monetisation models. In the first instance, pay per download now accounts for around 10% of mobile content revenues, with the bulk of revenue achieved post download. Secondly, it highlighted the transition from content ownership to content access, with consumers needing to engage with the same content across multiple devices.

As research author Dr Windsor Holden observed, ‘The increased consumer desire for 24/7 access on any device leads to greater opportunities for players that can offer subscription-based, unlimited content streaming.’

The research noted that leading OTT (Over The Top) players such as Apple, Google and Amazon were in pole position to capitalise on this transition, with each now offering cloud-based solutions both for personal storage and premium content access. It argued that if consumers are tied into multiple products from an OTT, those consumers becomes increasingly reluctant to churn away from one element of the brand, as he/she loses access to content across their devices.

If you are a games developer or any other vertical market or L2 using or looking to use Charge to mobile, then you can get a free pass to M-Payments Summit 2015. Sign up here.

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