With more than 30 percent of premium content transactions attributed to the off-deck industry, the U.S. off-deck mobile content markets presently contributes significantly to the total premium mobile content revenues in the U.S. Existing infrastructure has served the U.S. off-deck mobile content industry well, but newer solutions and business models are vital to sustain this growth.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (mobileandwireless.frost.com), U.S. Off-deck Premium Mobile Content Markets, finds that off-deck mobile content contributed approximately 30 percent of the total revenues in the U.S. and could increase to 40 percent by 2010.
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"The U.S. off-deck premium mobile content markets have shown tremendous growth in the recent years, driven largely by the entry of large media brands as well as the relative suitability and ease of operations," notes Frost & Sullivan Strategic Analyst Vikrant Gandhi. "Direct response marketing (especially short code SMS) has also been a significant factor in the markets' growth."
The off-deck segment has been a leader in mobile advertising, with short- code campaigns and wireless application protocol (WAP) -based advertising being the primary ad-mechanisms. There has been a tremendous growth in short-code based mobile advertising campaigns and large content providers have partnered with ad-solution providers such as Third Screen Media, AdMob, MoPhap and others to sell their ad-inventories.
Nonetheless, billing and reconciliation remain areas of concern as there is often a mismatch between what content providers expect as their revenues from sale of their wares in a given period and what they actually get from the mobile operators. Hence, the challenge is to ensure proper content monetization and while premium SMS has served the off-deck mobile industry well, industry participants are currently deploying advanced content delivery and billing solutions such as WAP and multimedia message service (MMS) billing.
"It would be appropriate to say that adoption of, advanced billing solutions such as WAP billing, and sophisticated content delivery solutions for off-deck content is driven largely by the need to address some of the billing and reconciliation issues," says Gandhi. "The introduction of advanced billing will also encourage next-generation mobile content, which is yet to be adopted on a large scale in the off-deck environment."
Frost & Sullivan believes that specialized billing solutions that interface directly with the mobile operators' billing systems provide greater benefits to the industry participants. These solutions offer richer application programming interface (APIs) to content providers and interface with the mobile operators' billing systems to provide additional features such as credit checks, multiple price points, refunds, and others. This opens up new opportunities for trusted third parties that play a critical role in facilitating off-deck mobile content.
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