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The LINE's OTT communications strategy

The LINE's OTT communications strategy

LINE is the leading social messenger app in Japan and several countries in East Asia. It has attracted a remarkably high number of subscribers since its launch in June 2011. This case study assesses the company's prospects in this highly contested market.


Executive summary
Implications for operators
LINE uses a 'freemium' model to attract subscribers, who are then monetised through in-app purchases
LINE's content-focused platform is proving successful in several regions
LINE plans to expand into Europe and North America by focusing on games and increasing its media exposure
LINE relies on content sales while seeking to diversify its revenue sources
Many players are converging on the social messaging market opportunity
LINE is hoping that its rapid user take-up will provide it with the means to create links in the value chain and monetise its services
LINE's core proposition is built around free calls and messages presented in an intuitive interface
The sticker market serves as a revenue stream as well as a subscriber retention method
LINE is using its free features to expand its subscriber base while creating a market for in-app purchases
Ecommerce initiatives are primarily designed to increase subscriber numbers and respond to competition
SWOT analysis for LINE in the communication services market
Rating LINE's prospects in the communication services market
LINE overview
About the author and Analysys Mason
List of figures
Figure 1: LINE's product and service categories [Source: Analysys Mason, 2015]
Figure 2: LINE's active subscribers by country, October 2014 [Source: Analysys Mason's Connected Consumer Survey 2015]
Figure 3: LINE's messaging app penetration among users of social communication apps in selected countries, July and August 2014 [Source: Analysys Mason's Connected Consumer Survey 2015]
Figure 4: The LINE FRIENDS pop-up store in Times Square, New York [Source: LINE, 2015]
Figure 5: Naver's financial and operational results [Source: Analysys Mason, 2015]
Figure 6: Social networking and communication services [Source: Analysys Mason, 2015]
Figure 7: Details of communication services market players [Source: Analysys Mason, 2015]
Figure 8: LINE messenger screenshot [Source: LINE, 2014]
Figure 9: LINE Store, January 2015 [Source: LINE, 2015]
Figure 10: LINE apps and games, January 2015 [Source: LINE, 2015]
Figure 11: LINE Official Accounts screenshot, December 2014 [Source: Analysys Mason, 2015]
Figure 12: LINE profile [Source: Analysys Mason, 2015]

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