Not too long ago, the mobile industry was dominated by discussions about chipsets and back-end carrier infrastructure. Now, the conversation has turned to streaming video and iPhone apps and there's a whole cast of new characters that have a seat at the table, from Hollywood studios to web giants like Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) and Google (NSDQ: GOOG). Who will be the dominant players, and what content will succeed in this fast-emerging medium? These are questions that executives across an array of media sectors are trying to answer.
In her latest report, ContentNext Research Director Lauren Rich Fine provides insights into the future of mobile, looking at patterns in M&A and VC-funding activity, and assessing the potential for mobile content, from games to music to social networks, to thrive.
Some highlights from the report:
We charted some 1,115 transactions in the mobile sector over the past three years, for a total of $343 billion of investment and M&A activitymuch of it in content, software and services. While there has been a slowdown in activity, deals are still getting doneand for good reason: There is no question that mobile is the next disruptive technology.
-Video usage should increase dramatically as the experience is improving daily, but concern and confusion about cost and hardware could mute near-term growth.
The economic downturn could hamper the ability of the carriers to increase their average revenue per customer, but it could push more consumers to become wireless-only customers.
While mobile advertising and marketing have yet to live up to expectations, we think this is a platform that can do well near-term as marketers seem to be embracing its lower out-of-pocket cost combined with targeting capabilities. We like the local play, as well.
By Tricia Duryee