10 February 2009

Bigger Than TV. That Sounds Like ...

... Mobile Phones.

Bigger than TV, bigger than the internet: Understand mobile of 4 billion users by Tomi T. Ahonen starts by describing the scale of the industry

Lets start with comparisons. Newspapers? the total circulation of all daily newspapers worldwide is about 480 milllion. Cars? There are about 800 million cars on the planet. Cable and satellite TV subscriptions? About 850 million. Personal computers including desktops, laptops and netbooks, about 1 billion. Fixed landline telephone connections, about 1.2 billion. eMail users about 1.3 billion. Internet users about 1.4 billion. Television sets about 1.5 billion. And credit cards? About 1.7 billion people carry at least one credit card in their wallet.
But there are 4 billion mobile phone subscriptions now in January 2009. More than twice the number of credit card owners, 2.5 times the number of TV sets or internet uses, approx 3 times the number of email users of total landline phones and yes, four times the number of personal computers. This is a monster sized industry, totally towering over all others.
Then he goes on to describe the growth rate
Its not just the size of the established industry. It is a dynamic industry selling a massive number of new devices per year. 1.18 Billion new mobile phones were sold in 2008 (IDC 2009). Compare that with approx 280 million new personal computers, laptops and netbooks sold last year, or under 300 million TV sets and we get to understand the scale. 
... at the end of 2008, the mobile content industry was worth about 71 Billion dollars worldwide, led by music, gaming, social networking and various TV, video and TV-related services such as TV voting by SMS ...For comparison, the total internet advertising industry is roughly of this size, as is the global radio broadcasting industry. DVD sales and rentals worldwide of all movies and TV content is slightly bigger at about 80 Billion which is also the value of the worldwide coffee industry. But mobile achieved this in just ten years sustaining a cumulative annual growth rate of 63% year-on-year for a whole decade, and still growing at almost 50% in the last year
76% of Japanese mobile phone users already use 2D barcodes...
The global penetration rate for mobile subscriptions is 60%. Europe has passed 100% per capita penetration and leading countries like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Israel and Italy are past the 140% subscription rate per capita. Yes, per capita, not per household. And not per "adult population".

That's a big advertising market and many companies are working on it. USA Today reveals
The confidential briefing, by Deepak Anand , a mobile marketing manager, was given to the Advertising Research Federation, a mix of advertisers and agencies, Google says. The company declined to elaborate, or to make Anand available for comment. A copy of the May 2008 presentation was obtained by USA TODAY; Google confirmed its authenticity.
In the presentation, Google also makes the case that mobile presents an opportunity to "reach out to captive users on the go." To illustrate that point, a slide depicts a search box with the word "burgers" typed in. Alongside it is another box showing search results, with an ad for Burger King stripped across the top.
What do people want from mobile search? In Google's view, consumers want "exact information," as they do on the desktop. "The key difference with mobile is that they immediately act on it."
The Apple iPhone, a big competitor to the G1, gets special treatment. Over Christmas 2007, Google notes, the iPhone "drove more traffic to Google.com worldwide than any other smartphone." In the USA, it adds, "the iPhone delivers 50 times the queries per device" than the average smartphone.

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