As tablet ownership and usage continues its upward trajectory, little surprise that more people are expected to be paying for more stuff on tablets in the coming years. But analyst Juniper Research has put out a new mobile content revenue forecast predicting that purchases on tablets will be the primary engine for growth — ergo: beating out smartphones — in the mobile content market over the next three years.
The analyst expects annual revenue generated from content delivered to mobile handsets and tablets to rise by nearly $ 25 billion over the period — climbing from more than $ 40 billion this year to $ 65 billion by 2016. Music and video now account for nearly half of all mobile content revenues, according to Juniper.
The analyst says growth in the mobile content market will “primarily” be fuelled by an upsurge in tablet users buying games, videos and ebooks on their slates. But it also flags up “increased opportunity” for content monetisation via direct carrier billing on smartphones as another factor helping to drive the market. “While the availability of direct carrier billing is patchy, the various benefits which the mechanism offers — higher conversion rates, opportunities to monetise unbanked customers — suggest that deployments will rise significantly in the medium term,” notes report author Dr Windsor Holden in a statement.
Returning to tablets, the report found that ebooks are currently the largest revenue stream on slates, thanks to e-reader applications from the likes of Amazon, Kobo and Nook, but goes on to add that tablets are experiencing a sharp increase in both paid and free video applications. The analyst also expects consumer gaming spend to migrate to tablets from dedicated portable gaming devices such as the Nintendo 3DS and the Sony PS Vita — something Juniper has delved into before in a separate report.
The mobile content report also notes that the convergence of gaming and social networking has been “one of the major drivers” behind the post-download monetisation opportunity — i.e. via in-app purchases.