SOURCE: eMarketer

December 15, 2005 07:03 ET

Mobile Entertainment Picks Up Steam

15 Million Mobile TV Users in the US by 2009 -- eMarketer

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 15, 2005 -- Ten years ago, it was the Internet that threw the telecom, media and marketing worlds into chaos. Starting next year, it will be the mobile phone, according to a new report released today.

Internet research firm eMarketer forecasts that the number of US consumers who watch TV programming on mobile phones will rise to 15 million in 2009, up substantially from only 1.2 million this year.

"Mobile video and audio entertainment are bringing new energy to the US wireless business," says Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the new "Mobile Entertainment: The Rise of the Very Small Screen" report. "There are real opportunities out there."

Major media, telecommunications and entertainment companies are placing big bets on content appearing on mobile phones. Entertainment content could offer mobile carriers a rich new revenue stream -- and mobile phones could provide a compelling new platform for media companies and marketers.

"Mobile video will present some of the most compelling mobile entertainment marketing opportunities," says Ms. Williamson. "Just as online video advertising has taken off because of the way it blends video's high brand engagement with the Internet's interactive, tracking and targeting capabilities, so too will marketers be drawn to mobile video advertising."

But while the future looks promising, today's usage of mobile entertainment in the US is currently very minimal. M:Metrics data from October 2005 reveals that fewer than 10% of US mobile subscribers had used their phone's browser to get news and information, send a photo message or purchase a ringtone. Fewer than 5% had purchased wallpaper or a screen saver or downloaded a mobile game.

"Do US consumers want to be entertained by their mobile phone? That's the billion-dollar question," says Ms. Williamson. "Many US mobile phone users think their phone is just fine for talking, and that's about it. Plus, there are significant technology and standards barriers to overcome."

eMarketer's Mobile Entertainment report answers these key questions:

--  Do Americans really want TV and music on their mobile phone?
--  Who is the mobile entertainment user?
--  How large is the mobile entertainment market expected to grow?
--  What ad opportunities does mobile video offer?
--  And many more...
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