Feature Article

March 13, 2013

Mobile Content Boom: Direct Carrier Billing Soars, But Mobile Operators Struggle

Guess what industry is the latest expected to grow exponentially in the next four years? Clue: It's not Apple, but it has to do with Apple. Second clue: It's not Google, but it has to do with Google. Clue number three: Yes, it definitely has to do with smartphones.

Have you guessed it by now? Well, here's the answer: mobile content.

A new report from Juniper Research, a company based in England that specializes in identifying and appraising growth market sectors within the category of mobile, predicts that the $2-billion industry of mobile content, monetized through direct carrier billing, will sky rocket.

By 2017, Juniper estimates that revenue from mobile content will amass over $13 billion in revenue. 

That “monetized through direct carrier billing” bit is a key factor though, as presently, mobile operators alone aren't doing too well in the game. The report noted that operator storefronts and portals account for only 6 percent of content downloads worldwide. Google Play and Apple's App Store are vastly dominating the market (Google takes first place).

The two mega-giants own nearly 70-percent between one another, while Android lags way behind.

But turn that frown upside down, mobile operators! Juniper Research found that operators can more than offset their decline in portal revenue if they offer carrier billing to third-party storefronts. The report observes that storefronts with carrier billing solutions integrated have already seen extreme results, multiplying their conversion rates compared with credit card billing up to six times.

Integrating carrier billing also widens a mobile operator's global reach, enabling them to monetize unbanked and underbanked regions and demographics they otherwise wouldn't access.

Further materials on the matter are available for download on Juniper's website.

Edited by Braden Becker

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