Focus shifts to mobile entertainment in 2013
The digital entertainment market is now worth billions of dollars in revenue and is currently being driven by the growing uptake of smart phones and touchscreen tablets. From updating social networks, browsing interesting websites, watching online videos, downloading and listening to music, trialling new apps and participating in games and gambling - the online and mobile platforms now offers a myriad of services based on entertainment.
In particular, it is mobile broadband apps which have attracted much attention over the past couple of years. A stream of these new Apps and services are continually being released into the market and the entertainment and leisure sector is often the focus. The key players in this market have emerged over the past couple of years and include both Internet media and mobile industry leaders. Apple App Store and Android are examples of two app store leaders; each offering hundreds of thousands of apps. Following the iPhone phenomenon, the carriers are now trying to jump on board and provide their own AppStores for the devices they support - but it is very doubtful that they will have any chance of success in competition with these large players.
While social networks began as a basic tool to connect with friends; in 2013 these services are now available on both fixed and mobile devices and are used for much more including messaging services, gaming; business networking, e-commerce; accessing breaking news and video/photo sharing. The era of digital social media has certainly caused much disruption to traditional media industries and has also led to many very innovative new applications and services.
The popularity of SMS has remained strong on the back of the introduction of capped data changes, smart phones and bundled services. However other forms of messaging beyond text are gaining ground, particularly free messaging services offered by social networks and instant messaging mobile apps. This rise of alternative mobile apps which offer messaging services are becoming a serious threat to the carriers SMS revenue streams and are increasingly being seen as a disruptive trend.
Online gambling is heavily regulated or banned in many parts of the world, with the USA, China and Japan just three examples of large markets which have strict online gambling laws. Despite this barrier - online gambling is still a thriving industry and mobile gambling is beginning to gain popularity. The rise of smart phones and mobile wallets offering a better player interface will assist this growth in the future.
Purchasing and accessing online music has been very popular for a number of years and was one of the key drivers behind the early developments in digital media. However with faster speeds now available, video streaming is finally coming to the forefront over both the fixed and mobile networks. Digital music is still enormously widespread however and in 2013 such services are available to over 100 countries with providers such as iTunes and Spotify continuing to expand globally.
BuddeComm’s new report, Global Digital Media – Online and Mobile Entertainment are Key Drivers, provides important insights into the worldwide digital media industry with a focus on entertainment services. It includes trends, analyses, statistics and case studies. It provides insights into fixed services and the key growth area of mobile broadband digital media. Information at a regional level is provided for North America, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific, written by BuddeComm’s Senior Analysts.
Examples of key insights:
Improved infrastructure is helping to drive both the digital and mobile media markets with high speed broadband and 4G networks continuing to be rolled out around the world.
A stream of new Apps and services are being released in areas of entertainment, travel and finance and also m-health; m-education; m-social networking; m-gaming and so on and there are now well over a million apps available worldwide.
Despite its huge success, Facebook has strong competition from local social networks in some countries like China, Japan, South Korea and Russia.
The purchase of business social network Yammer by Microsoft for $1.2 billion follows a growing interest in the opportunities presented by enterprise social networking.
In 2013 there are over 7,500 dating websites worldwide and mobile dating is expected to be a significant growth area.
In early 2013 mobile photo messaging began to receive attention following Facebook’s launch of a mobile app called Poke which is along the lines of an already established mobile app called Snapchat.
Popular mobile games in 2013 include Angry Birds, Talking Friends, Doodle Jump and Plants vs Zombies.
In Australia, mobile betting sees revenue, transactions and users increasing.
In New Zealand Facebook growth is slowing but usage time is increasing.
Egypt has Africas largest Facebook community with over 12 million users.
Free-to-play online games with optional micro-currency and low graphics requirements are prevalent in Latin America.
Music service to cellular handsets is a development gaining pace in the USA. Music is typically accessed using on-demand streaming or over-the-air download services to mobile phones over the internet via a 3G or WiFi connection.
One factor which is aiding the popular take-up of mobile entertainment in Europe is the improvements in advanced billing and security capabilities of networks, making such services more attractive to businesses and consumers.
The internet plays a significant part in the lives of vast numbers of people across Asia. The young and tech-savvy of the region spend vast amounts of time online in their pursuit of digital media entertainment.
Mobile is shaping digital media developments in the Middle East.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.