Mobile Entertainment Expected to Top $40 billion

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The international market for entertainment media delivered via mobile platforms is expected to grow to about $43 billion by the end of the decade, according to new research from applied market intelligence firm iSuppli Corp. The total revenues generated from this sector in 2004 were $5.2 billion, so if iSuppli’s predictions are correct, this would represent an eightfold increase in the span of six years.


The biggest area of growth—as well as the largest portion overall—of content consumption is around music. This specific area of the market has undergone a transition in the past year or so, as ringtones give way to ringtunes, which are annoying popular songs digitized and transformed into even more annoying jingles that alert users to incoming calls. The high level of adoption is due largely to the fact that hundreds of millions of mobile phones are already music-enabled.


Another strong driver of growth in mobile media is video games. Revenue from mobile gaming increased by roughly 80 percent last year, and that number isn’t going anywhere but up as the quality of the graphics is enhanced and companies such as Electronic Arts and THQ roll out more and more titles. According to the iSuppli report, though, the area with the most profit potential in the long term is mobile video. This is due in part to the fact that this segment of the market is close to zero-point-nada right now, even in mobile-mad countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.


Mark Kirstein, vice president of multimedia services and content for iSuppli and the person credited with the report, suggested that actual numbers of mobile phone subscribers in developed markets such as North America, Europe and East Asia were leveling off. However, the companies in this market will continue to reap huge revenues because of additional applications, functionalities and content.


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