Today eMarketer Daily compiled conflicting reports on the future of mobile marketing. According to “Mobile Entertainment’s Potential Sharply Debated” by John du Pre Gauntt (free & live on a limited basis), the predictions for mobile revenues vary wildly:
In November 2006, Juniper Research forecast that total revenues for wireless providers from mobile entertainment in the mobile music, video, TV, gambling, gaming and adult categories would exceed $77 billion by 2011.
One month later, Informa Telecoms & Media followed with a mobile entertainment forecast that stated the total market in 2011 would be $38.1 billion.
eMarketer attributes the $40 billion difference to “wildcards” such as WiFi in the US and international wireless markets, especially China and India which are set to grow exponentially in the immediate future.
However, even the $38.1 billion mark might be overshooting. To further complicate the mobile marketing outlook, IDC has reported that their U.S. Wireless Teen and Adult Consumer Entertainment Survey, 3Q06, shows that 72.5% of respondents did not use any data services outside of messaging in the third quarter of 2006.
SMS and text message alerts were the most popular services with 47% using them. About 20% downloaded a ringtone and 10% downloaded a graphic, wallpaper or game.
The biggest deterrent to mobile media consumption? 47% of 18 to 24 year olds say it’s too expensive. Of course, these are people who are already paying $60 or more per month for their services (or have a camera phone). The survey indicates that American consumers spend $3.70/month on data services on average.
Perhaps the predictions in the tens of billions for 2011 include hopes that mobile marketers and service providers will have worked out a service agreement to offset consumers’ costs.
Are predictions for the future of mobile marketing overblown? Or will we all carry computers in our pockets in five years?