Research Notes

The mobile content providers have overlooked a million Euro market!

While the market for ringtones and logos in Europe is today worth around Euro 0.5 billion and will continue to earn money in the coming years, content providers who are now making money on these types of SMS services are completely overlooking a huge “new” market – EMS!
So what is EMS? EMS stands for Enhanced Message Service and allows mobile users to attach images, animations, sounds and melodies to SMS messages. Isn’t that what we have today? No, today, almost all mobile services available in Europe can only be used on Nokia mobile phones! Nokia has their own system to handle images and audio called Smart Messaging. Most services available today are only compatible with Smart Messaging.

So the millions of mobile users who do not own a Nokia phone, but have for example a newer mobile phone from Ericsson, Siemens, Alcatel or Motorola for example, cannot use the many popular mobile services available today – simply because their telephone is not a Nokia phone and therefore does not support Smart Messaging. But they would be able to buy and use the services – if the services were available for EMS.

In other words, if the content providers recreated all the mobile services available today for EMS instead – they would open up the market to a huge new segment of the mobile population in Europe – who have never tried buying and downloading anything to their non-Nokia mobile phones.

So there must be a catch here? Why would anyone overlook such a huge opportunity with a proven business case valued at Euro 0.5 billion this year?

Well, not everyone has. In Norway and now also in Denmark, content providers have discovered the hidden fortunes in creating and offering EMS based mobile services and the results are very positive indeed. Non-Nokia mobile phone owners have obviously been envious of all the services available to Nokia phone owners and are jumping at the chance to try them for themselves.

Premium SMS mobile services are still growing and according to the latest report from Strand Consult “How to make money on mobile services” a picture of the current & future Market for Mobile Services in Europe, SMS based mobile services will have a total market value of almost Euro 3 billion in 2003 – up from Euro 1.2 billion in 2002. During the coming years MMS and JAVA based services will start to grow – catching up with the value of the market for person to person SMS’s in 2005. In 2005 the total market value for mobile services will reach Euro 23 billion and mostly be based on MMS/Java/WAP.

But for now, there is no doubt in the coming years that any investments in EMS services are going to welcomed by all the non-Nokia mobile phone owners and give content owners a new source of income on top of the income being generated on mobile services today.
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