Mobile Content to Reach $13B

LONDON -- The market for mobile communities and user generated content will be worth US$13.1 billion by 2011, with photo and chat based services being the top revenue generators, according to a new report from Informa Telecoms and Media and strategic partner, the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF).

"The meteoric rise of such sites as MySpace, Bebo and YouTube shows significant consumer demand for social interaction in the digital space," said Daniel Winterbottom, senior analyst at Informa and author of the report. "Adding mobility to these services represents a huge opportunity for mobile operators, who will benefit from a reduction in churn levels, as well as significant increases in data traffic," he added. To add further weight to the importance of this rapidly emerging industry, O2, the UK mobile phone giant, recently announced that it was examining options for getting Bebo onto its handsets, potentially emulating the US deal between Helio and MySpace.

"Mobile communities which combine user-generated content (UGC), branded content and always on user interaction are a key growth driver for the mobile entertainment industry," commented Patrick Parodi, Global Chair MEF. "Taking communities mobile, combines entertainment and user interactivity on a new level, reinforcing the mobile handset's position as the leading portable entertainment device. We set up the MEF community initiative to focus on understanding the user behaviour and business models which harness these communities and have the potential to create over a billion dollars of value in the next 5 years."

Informa Telecoms & Media

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