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Market for mobile downloads to top £5bn globally within a year

LONDON - Consumer demand for mobile downloads is set to triple in the next 12 months, creating a €7.6bn (£5.2bn) global market for mobile content by this time next year, according to new international research.

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The figures, compiled by IT consultancy LogicaCMG, show one-fifth of mobile phone owners worldwide have already experienced downloading content to their handsets, and that this number is expected to rise to 60% in the next 12 months.

The survey, which covers Europe, Asia Pacific, North and South America, also revealed that average monthly download spend per subscriber is currently €6.32, with more than 40% per cent of respondents expecting it to rise next year.

LogicaCMG said that conservative estimates predict that the global market for downloading content will become a multibillion-euro industry within a year.

The most popular content to download globally is ringtones, games and music, although news and sports are also gaining a keen audience in Europe.

The market for downloading video and movie clips also shows promise, with more than 10% of mobile phone users worldwide expecting to download such content within 12 months. This number rises to 25% Asia Pacific, with one in 10 also expecting to be downloading full feature films to their mobiles by this time next year.

LogicaCMG, however, did warn that operators would face challenges over making payment for content easy, and in dealing with the issue of people wanting to share the content they have downloaded with friends.

The survey also showed that people have issues with storing the content, and want operators to provide network-based storage.

Paul Gleeson, chief operating officer at LogicaCMG global telecoms, said: "This survey proves that a substantial market for mobile content exists, with great opportunities for mobile operators worldwide.

"Mobile phone users are starting to experiment with their phones' capabilities but, drawing a parallel with the popular SMS experience, it is clear that the service needs to be simple, safe and intuitive from initial browsing through to payment and download."
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