According to research recently released in a new report from Pyramid Research, titled "Mobile Video Services: A Five-Year Global Market Forecast," mobile video usage will rise at a compound annual growth rate of 28% over the next 5 years. By 2014, more than 500 million users worldwide will subscribe to mobile video services, equal to 8.5% of all mobile subscription services.
Faster Mobile Broadband and 3G Networks.
Of course, a lot of this growth is dependent upon the expected deployment of faster mobile broadband networks, and in particular, the proliferation of 3G networks across the world. 3G networks offer the speed and performance that is necessary to make mobile TV and mobile video services a reality.
"At year-end 2008, 37% of mobile subscribers in North America and 29% in Western Europe will be connected to a 3G network. Over the next several years, we expect the other regions to make inroads with 3G as well. In Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe, more than 50% of subscribers will be converted by 2014, up from about 5% at year-end 2008," -Stated co-authors Derek Medlin and Gabriela Baez.
While the US, Japan, and Italy are noted as today's leading markets for mobile video and mobile TV usage, the Asia/Pacific region is expected to be a key area for the massive expected growth over the next five years. By 2014, Asia/Pacific will represent more than half of all mobile subscribers worldwide, compared to 44% today. Additionally, China, Chile, and India are said to be markets to watch for future growth as more 3G licenses are awarded.
Money, Money - MONEY
In subscription services alone, mobile video is expected to generate roughly $16B in revenue worldwide by 2014. Furthermore, this is expected to represent 15% of the total wireless data sales revenues in leading markets like the United Sates.
There is Still Work to Do
However, as the report points out, the future of mobile video and mobile television is not entirely dependent on growth of 3G. There are still many barriers that could affect this growth. In addition to regulatory concerns, and the various in technologies and devices that could be used to deliver mobile video, carriers and content providers will have to work together to determine the business model appropriate for mobile video delivery. All these issues combined with an increase in access to free services (one thing that Google was planning on with the Google Phone), could threaten the revenue model. Nonetheless, I would suggest that the opportunity is go great; they'll figure it out.
Speaking of, how many of you currently watch video via mobile?