Operator Share of Content Market Plummets, Direct Carrier Billing Offers $13bn Revenue by 2017


Mobile Operator Share of Content Market Plummets, But Direct Carrier Billing Offers $13bn Revenue Opportunity by 2017

Implementation boosts conversion rates and average transaction size, says Juniper Research

Hampshire, UK – 6th March 2013: Revenues from mobile content, monetised through direct carrier billing, is expected to rise from $2bn last year to more than $13bn by 2017, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

Mobile Operators Exit Content Storefronts

The report observed that operator storefronts and portals now accounted for just 6% of content downloads worldwide, with Google Play and Apple’s App Store now comprising nearly 70% between them. Indeed, the report noted that the increasing popularity of OTT (Over The Top) stores had led to many operators closing their own storefronts.

However, the report  - Mobile Content Business Models: OTT & Operator Strategy & Forecasts 2013-2017 - found that by offering carrier billing to third-party storefronts, operators could more than offset the continued decline in portal revenues. According to the report, storefronts which have already integrated carrier billing solutions have seen a 5-6x increase in conversion rates compared with credit card billing, together with an uplift in average transaction values.

Furthermore, it observed that the implementation of carrier billing allowed storefronts and developers to monetise unbanked/underbanked regions and demographics for the first time.

Operators “Can Retain Foothold in the Content Play”

As report author Dr Windsor Holden pointed out, “While many operators have now abandoned the own-brand storefront approach, by leveraging their billing relationship with the end user they can retain a foothold in the content play. Simply by offering consumers a billing choice, monetisation rates will rise dramatically.”

However, the report cautioned that carrier billing for higher value content would be less effective amongst prepaid users given the relatively low top-up levels in most markets.

Other Key Findings from the Report Include:


  • While Google has surpassed Apple in terms of app downloads on an ongoing basis, monetisation levels of Android apps are markedly lower.
  •  Although in-app billing and freemium has become the prevalent business model, there is still a role to play for PPD (Pay Per Download).


‘The Mobile Content Challenge’ whitepaper is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report and the attendant Interactive Forecast Excel, which enables clients to interrogate the assumptions behind Juniper’s forecasts and create alternative future outputs.

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.

For further details please contact Rebecca Holman, Press Relations

T: +44(0)1256 830001     

E: rebecca.holman@juniperresearch.com 


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