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Global Mobile Media - Messaging Services and OTT Messaging Apps Insights


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Global Mobile Media - Messaging Services and OTT Messaging Apps Insights

Driven by the growing usage of smartphones and mobile broadband services, mobile messaging continues to gain popularity throughout the world. But the scene is changing. The traditional SMS market, which peaked in 2012 and is now gradually shrinking, is being replaced by Over-The-Top (OTT) social messaging and messaging apps. This decline in traditional SMS usage is particularly evident in countries and regions where there is high smartphone and mobile broadband penetration.

Despite some commentators spelling the death of email in favour of social media and other forms of messaging, there is yet no sign that our email boxes will lie empty anytime soon. In fact, the number of emails being sent worldwide continues to grow, and global revenues from email are forecast to almost double between 2014 and 2018. The biggest change is that almost half of all emails are being accessed from a mobile device globally. In some cases the mobile data used to access emails or social media apps is provided free by the mobile operators in a recent trend known as zero rating content.

This report provides a global overview of the key trends occurring for SMS, email, Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM), and Unified Communication (UC) sectors, including broad statistics, where available.

Key developments

SMS has declined to less than 70% of global messaging revenues;
It has become a popular practise for mobile operators to offer service bundles which include free data usage to access mobile apps such as social media, email or OTT messaging services. Known as zero-rated content.
WhatsApp's user base has more than tripled in only two years, topping 700 million users in 2015;
In March 2015, WhatsApp added mobile VoIP (MoIP) to its messaging app;
Messaging app and MoIP provider Viber crossed 100 million concurrent active users in June 2014;
In February 2014, WhatsApp was purchased by Facebook for $16 billion;
Also in February 2014, Viber was acquired by Japan-based Rakuten for $900 million;
Succumbing to competition, Samsung's ChatON was discontinued in February 2015.

Companies mentioned in this report

Snapchat; WhatsApp; Viber, ChatON, LINE, WeChat, Facebook; Blackberry, Twitter; Skype; Apple; Sybase 365.


1. Synopsis
2. Mobile messaging insights
2.1 Smartphone and Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM)
2.2 Zero-rated mobile content
3. The declining SMS market
3.1 Instant messaging beginning to overtake SMS
3.1.1 Start-up from Israel gains global attention
3.2 Monetizing free mobile instant messaging apps
3.3 Premium SMS (PSMS)
3.4 Is Mobile Voice over IP (MoIP) a threat to SMS and voice revenues?
3.5 Permission-based SMS
4. Mobile photo-messaging and self destruction
4.1 Operators attempt to combat OTT with Joyn
5. Email/mobile email
5.1 Self-destructing email
6. Unified Communications (UC)
6.1 Early days
6.2 UC&C today
6.3 Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)
7. Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)
7.1 Store-and-forward messaging services
7.2 Early providers
7.3 USSD analysis
8. Big Data and the messaging/UC segment
9. Related reports
Table 1 Global SMS traffic and revenue 2005 - 2018
Table 2 Worldwide number of email users 2009 - 2015
Chart 1 Global SMS traffic and revenue 2005 - 2018
Exhibit 1 - A brief history SMS
Exhibit 2 Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM)
Exhibit 3 Examples of popular Mobile Instant Messaging Apps
Exhibit 4 - Definition: Premium SMS
Exhibit 5 Sybase 365
Exhibit 6 Key benefits of USSD

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