Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mobile Video Forecast

Consumers are demanding more personalization and entertainment content on their mobile phones, driving mobile video revenue to exceed $3.5 billion in 2008, according to recent research by MultiMedia Intelligence.

By 2012, the mobile video and mobile TV market will exceed $15 billion, including direct customer payments and advertising. But most of the money is in subscriber fees. Total Mobile TV and Video advertising revenue will exceed $1 billion by 2012.

Those numbers illustrate something about the relative importance of various revenue streams. Some observers think video, advertising and other related revenue streams ultimately will represent most network service provider revenue.

I'm a bit of a contrarian, perhaps, but I continue to believe voice and data services will constitute the clear majority of "legacy" telecom service provider revenues for the indefinite future. That doesn't mean "dumb pipe" or "simple access" services are the only revenue components former telcos will have.

It is to argue that most of the revenue will continue to come from access and the services that are built rather directly on access. I'd argue that will continue to be true on both wireless and wired networks.

With the combination of a large wireless subscriber base and free-to-air alternatives, Asia has the vast majority of mobile TV subscribers. By 2012, Asia will have two thirds of all mobile TV subscribers.

For that reason alone, mobile TV is unlikely to represent a very large revenue stream for network service providers. And what revenue there is will come in the form of recurring subscription payments or on-demand fees.

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