Substantive and meaningful innovation is the key to survival and ongoing prosperity for global telecoms and media players in 2013, according to the latest market study by Informa.
Over 500 senior executives from across both these sectors were asked how their businesses and markets would perform in 2013 and the role innovation would play in driving future revenue growth.
Respondents were generally positive about the state of the market and revenue prospects for 2013 -- with almost 40 percent saying there were strong opportunities for both vendors and operators in their home markets.
Looking at sources of innovation generally in today's telecoms and media markets, there's a divergence of views as to which are the most important sources of innovation.
Service innovation was ranked as the most important focus for telecoms and TV operators followed by partnerships and business models, customer service innovation and network innovation.
However, the market researchers at Informa Telecoms & Media believes that the sector must take a long-term approach to developing new services and revenue streams outside its core businesses.
"It is important to recognize that it is going to take a long time for new businesses to have an impact on total revenues. Figures that we have started to pull together for our research program on growth and innovation strategies for telecoms operators beyond the network indicate that -- on a global basis -- revenues from mobile VAS, M2M, cloud, advertising and payment are equivalent to just 2 percent of global mobile operator revenue," says Mark Newman, Chief Research Officer at Informa Telecoms & Media.
Asked to what extent, as individuals, our survey respondents felt they were rewarded personally for being innovative in their jobs, three out of four gave a score of between three and five (one = low reward, five = high reward).
In terms of the types of companies that provide the biggest sources of innovation, there is an acceptance in the telecoms market that the wider community of Internet and applications developers contains the most important players.
But, in the TV business, content creators and producers are still seen as being the most important source of innovation -- not the distribution channels (such as pay-TV providers).
In the short term -- the 2013 to 2015 time frame -- managing the transition of massive revenue streams from voice to data will be the biggest challenge that the telecoms industry faces. Informa believes that a more intelligent, innovative data pricing strategy is crucial to manage this transition successfully.