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Carrier billing opportunity to offset lost content revenues for operators

Mobile operators are placing themselves at the centre of a burgeoning ecosystem as revenue from mobile content, monetised through direct carrier billing, is expected to rise from $2bn in 2012 to more than $13bn by 2017, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

Operators’ share of content market is plummeting, the report warned.  Operator app storefronts and portals now account for just six per cent of content downloads worldwide, with Google Play and Apple’s App Store now comprising nearly 70 per cent between them.

However, operators could more than offset the continued decline in portal revenues. According to the report, storefronts which have already integrated carrier billing solutions have seen a five-to-six-fold increase in conversion rates compared with credit card billing, together with an increase in average transaction values.

“While many operators have now abandoned the own-brand storefront approach, by leveraging their billing relationship with the end user they can retain a foothold in the content play,” said report author Windsor Holden. “Simply by offering consumers a billing choice, monetisation rates will rise dramatically.”

Carrier billing for higher value content would be less effective among prepaid users however, the report cautioned, given the relatively low top-up levels in most markets.


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