A showbiz hard cell

Mobile entertainment ringing in rev growth

LONDON — The rapidly expanding global mobile entertainment industry will see its annual revenue climb from the current $15.82 billion to $42.8 billion by 2010, according to a report by U.K. analysts Informa Telecoms and Media.

Mobile music, gaming, gambling and adult services are earmarked as the key revenue drivers. New markets such as mobile television also are projected to spur growth.

Informa’s analysts predict revs from mobile music to double to $11 billion in the next five years. Contrary to some industry expectations, the report does not see MP3-enabled phones as iPod killers. Despite increased consumer interest in mobile full-track downloads, Informa projects that revenue from ringtones will continue to outmuscle other mobile music offerings.

Growth in the mobile gaming sector is projected to rocket up from $2.6 billion to $11.2 billion by 2010. Downloads will continue to dominate the sector, but Informa foresees a considerable growth in online multiplayer gaming.

Game for improvement

In terms of users and revenues, Japan and China dominate the global mobile-gaming market, but Informa projects the U.K. biz will surge. Currently, just 6.7% of global mobile users download games, but that percentage should more than double by 2010.

According to Informa’s report, gambling revenues will soar from the current $1.2 billion in annual revenue to $7.6 billion by ’10. The European sector will expand at the swiftest rate.

“Mobile gambling is already generating significant revenues, but there is room for sharp growth in the years ahead,” commented Stuart Dredge, the report’s co-author. “Operators recognize that there is a strong demand for mobile gambling services, and there is no shortage of companies looking to provide them. However, the industry must keep in mind its responsibilities to tackle underage and problem gambling.”

As in the mobile gambling sector, forging understandings with regulators and developing age verification procedures are vital to the growth of the mobile adult industry.

“The key to turning erotic mobile content into a sustainable revenue stream is to adopt a responsible approach, making sure subscribers who wish to view such content are age verified and that those providers who are looking to make a quick buck are squeezed out of the equation,” said co-author Daniel Winterbottom.

By 2010, Informa envisages 155 million users regularly using mobile adult content.

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