Mobile content market, which dates back to 1998, is one of the youngest and rapidly expanding not only in the Eastern Europe but also in the world. Colour displays, wide range of functions of mobile handsets and high-speed Internet-connection form an attractive ground for downloadable content. As a result, mobile content sales also increase.
Mobile connection penetration in the Eastern Europe is reaching 75% to 80%, which means the mobile market is close to saturation. Thus, that it will be hard for mobile operators to use the factor of extensive growth to stimulate revenues increase. As the revenues from voice services keep declining, mobile operators seem to become more focused on new data services and value added services.
A representative of one of the largest Ukrainian mobile operators who was present at the first Ukrainian Mobile Monday conference this September shared his vision of the future of the Ukrainian mobile content market:
Generally, the Eastern Europe mobile content market is more of an entertainment kind. The share of business applications is definitely not large. One of the main elements of this market is the segment of handsets customization which includes ringtones, realtones, images and Java games. Different content gives different profit: maximum revenue (71%) comes from the sale of ringtones, logos and Java games. Interactive services (SMS-games, quizzes and chats) produce 22% of general revenue, 1% - info and 6% - media projects. According to the research company iKS Consulting (Russia) the mobile content market amount in 2005 exceeded 51 mln. USD in Ukraine and 340 mln. USD in Russia (VAS generate 11% of total income of wireless operators in Eastern Europe, while in Western Europe it is 15% to 20%).
- Yet, why is there a slight recession in this market segment that we observe at the moment?
We asked a content providers representative who was also present at the first Mobile Monday Ukraine meeting to comment on the situation. Here is what our responder says:
As for mobile games, those written in Java, especially card and casino games become more and more popular among game downloads. It is the prospective trend, since game developers and publishers are not bound geographically and can sell their products all over the world. Moreover, an average user, who downloads content, is very young - 10 to 25 years old. Yet, to win the customer, providers should offer only the best, tried-and-true, and top-quality product in every respect.
Now customers can get their favourite games, even desktop ones, to their pocket. Software developers that make a special stress on mobile application development and porting, e.g. QArea, not only develop mobile games but also port desktop games to mobile phones. Andrew Kudryashov, a technical director of QArea mobile development department described the company activities in the field of content development and expressed the developer team expectations as for the new orders:
*ARPU - Average Revenue per User