Making mobile multimedia work

Telecom Asia

Knowing what your subscribers want and what they will pay is vital to creating new revenue-generating services. This knowledge is particularly important for operators pushing a wide mix of multimedia content - and seeking to derive advertising dollars or subscription revenue from such services.

According to a survey by 3ple Media, a mobile multimedia specialist, mobile subscribers are becoming more receptive to multimedia content, including free content 'pushed' to their handsets by operators.

Globally, 45% of subscribers, up from 15% the year before, say they already receive free, relevant multimedia content on their mobiles. In Asia Pacific, this number jumped to 39% from 21% a year ago.

The percentage of subscribers looking forward to receiving such kind of content, however, has dropped to 39% from 55% last year. This is indicative of the transition being made to active users as free and relevant multimedia content makes inroads to more mobile subscribers.

Almost 300 subscribers and operators participated in the online survey globally, with 30% of respondents from Asia Pacific.

Okay if it's free

Although free multimedia content has been relatively well received, operators have to be cognizant of the fact that cost will be a big factor in determining the take-up of content that is not offered free of charge.

The survey results show that 58% of subscribers polled globally think multimedia on their mobiles will be too expensive. This is a considerable increase from last year's 32%. In Asia Pacific alone, the cost challenge is even higher, with close to 70% of subscribers believing receiving multimedia content on their handsets will cost too much.

Apart from the cost issue, operators face other hurdles, particularly those related to available multimedia content.

According to the survey, 31% of subscribers worldwide simply do not know what services are available. This number increased slightly despite more services offered - a clear indication that operators need to step up efforts to promote their services to the market.

Also, 29% of subscriber-respondents say none of the services available appeal to them, suggesting an insufficient range of offerings or inadequate service promotion.

'Last year's percentage of subscribers thinking the same (just 15%) shows the urgency with which operators need to act in order to entice subscribers to take on new, personally relevant services,' says 3ple Media chief commercial officer StJohn Deakins.


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