Juniper Research has found that by 2017, annual revenues from mobile entertainment services will reach almost $75 billion. This upside growth, from an estimated $39 billion in 2013, is primarily driven by the emergence of more sophisticated strategies to increase overall revenues.
Some new growth will be allied to a nascent ecosystem of app-centric mobile devices, such as smart watches and other wearable mobile devices.
Juniper has observed that video games will continue to generate the largest share of revenue throughout the forecast period. Those revenues are now primarily derived through a freemium business model, where mobile content is upsold after an app is downloaded by the user.
The in-app purchase mechanism thus enables the creation of an ongoing revenue stream for the software developer and other players in the mobile ecosystem.
Meanwhile, Juniper believes that leisure and eReader apps -- a market segment which includes a multitude of app categories such as News, Navigation and Shopping -- are also expected to exhibit strong growth over the forecast period.
Juniper says there were significant longer term revenue opportunities in this sector from apps which connect to wearable devices -- such as a navigation app showing directions on a smart watch -- as wearable technology assumes a more integral role in the mobile ecosystem.
Juniper Research also expects to see a bump in mobile entertainment revenues during the 2013 holiday period.
"Christmas provides the biggest opportunity for mobile entertainment providers in terms of exposure. Storefronts and D2C entertainment brands see a surge in activity on and immediately after Christmas Day as consumers browse and download apps for their new devices," said Sian Rowlands, research analyst at Juniper Research.
Other findings from the market study include:
- The Far East & China will account for the largest share of mobile entertainment revenues throughout the forecast period.
- Relatively low growth is anticipated in the adult sector, where revenues continue to be diluted by free and pirated content.
- App discovery remains a key challenge for all those in the mobile entertainment ecosystem to overcome.