Across the digital content arena, there has been a gradual transition from the pay-per-download model to a month-to-month or annual subscription. This transition is very apparent in the mobile space, where the majority of applications are now free at the point of download.
The overall value of the global digital content market will reach $154 billion annually by 2019 -- that's an increase of nearly 60 percent on 2014, according to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research.
Their new research findings observed that mobile and online games would account for the largest share of content sales -- 38 percent of cumulative revenues -- with game formats continuing to transition from physical to digital.
According to Juniper's assessment, the success of platforms such as Valve's Steam -- which now has over 125 million active accounts worldwide -- is a key driver in this evolution.
Meanwhile, revenues from game consoles and handheld devices are diminishing as players migrated their game-play to media tablets and higher-end smartphones.
Demand has Shifted to Content Access
The research also highlighted a dual paradigm shift in content monetization models. Today, pay per download now accounts for around 10 percent of mobile content revenues, with the bulk of revenue achieved post download.
However, Juniper noted that there has been a significant transition from content ownership to content access, with more consumers demanding to engage with the same digital content across multiple devices.
"The increased consumer desire for 24/7 access on any device leads to greater opportunities for players that can offer subscription-based, unlimited content streaming," said Dr Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research.
The research also noted that leading Over-the-Top (OTT) players such as Apple, Google and Amazon were in pole position to capitalize on this transition, with each now offering cloud-based solutions both for personal storage and premium content access.
Juniper believes that if consumers are tied into multiple products from an OTT provider, those consumers becomes increasingly reluctant to churn away from one element of the combined service offering.