Monday, January 24, 2011

Time for digital content owners to monetize their assets through mobile marketing

NEW YORK, USA: Faster networks, better smartphones, and an avalanche of apps, games and entertainment mean one thing: a steady and increasingly rapid growth in mobile content consumption and the revenue it delivers.

But, mobile content markets vary in their characteristics and maturity, just as the companies considering mobile content marketing vary in their goals and readiness. The conclusion: some kinds of companies should push ahead with monetizing mobile content as soon as possible, while others should wait a little before taking the plunge.

“Digital game publishers, music companies, video producers, news outlets, and app developers should move ahead, if they haven’t already,” says ABI Research practice director Neil Strother. “They have the expertise, they have the content, and mobile consumers are already enthusiastic. On the other hand, non-media companies – especially those without content at hand – should take a breath.”

Such companies should study the strategies and performance of media companies with mobile content this year, and then prepare to enter the market next year or even later. Even media outlets such as book publishers, for example, should wait until the first handsets with E Ink displays appear.

Those that have entered the market by 2013 can expect to partake in revenue that will exceed $6 billion that year, rising to more than $10 billion by the end of 2016. Market growth will be driven in large part by the significant rise in the numbers of smartphone users combined with the improved performance available from 4G networks. As smartphone penetration grows, content providers need to have a plan or they may miss a growing opportunity.

The pickings are rich, but all companies in the mobile content marketplace will have to address persistent issues such as:

* content discovery.
* free content alternatives.
* competing dedicated devices.
* platform fragmentation.
* smartphone and data costs.

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