Billing Choices Drive Monetization: The $13 billion Revenue Opportunity in Direct Carrier Billing

FARMINGTON, Conn., March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Like almost no other digital product, mobile apps represent a global opportunity with more or less instant worldwide distribution. The challenge is monetization. Mobile operator storefronts and portals only account for 6% of content downloads with Google Play and Apple's App Store now comprising nearly 70% between them. The growing popularity of over-the-top (OTT) stores has led many operators to shut down their storefronts. Meanwhile, implementation of carrier billing continues to enable operators and developers to monetize unbanked and underbanked regions and demographics for the first time.


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According to a new report by Juniper Research, "Mobile Content Business Models: OTT & Operator Strategy & Forecasts 2013-2017", revenues from mobile content are expected to rise from $2 billion last year to over $13 billion by 2017. By offering carrier billing to third-party storefronts, operators could more than offset the continued decline in portal revenues. The report notes that storefronts that have already integrated carrier billing solutions have witnessed a multiple increase of five to six times in conversion rates compared with credit card billing.

Monetization rates will rise dramatically simply by offering consumers a billing choice. However, the report also cautions that carrier billing for higher value content could be less effective among prepaid users given the relatively low top-up levels in most markets.

Learn more and see free sample pages from the full report at

A standalone excel workbook that accompanies this report is also available. Preview the "Mobile Content Business Models Ifxl 2013-2017" spreadsheet here:

Connected device ownership is going mainstream, providing a solid foundation for app development and spurring rapid growth of app economies. Navigating multiple app environments is a developer challenge; therefore, developers must leverage existing skill sets to break down technical and financial barriers of delivering content across multiple Internet-connected devices.

A new report to be released on March 31, 2013, evaluates the connected app marketplace in North America. Park Associates' "App Development & Distribution Models" examines the app development, management, integration, and publishing process for the major app-enabled devices - smartphones, tablets, and connected TVs.

Sample pages, a full table of contents, and additional information about the report are available at

From Berg Insight, "The Mobile Application Market" report estimates the number of mobile application downloads worldwide doubled during 2012 and reached 60.1 billion, up from 29.5 billion in 2011. The growth will continue and annual downloads will reach 108 billion by 2017. Revenues from applications, including direct revenues and in-app ad revenues, reached € 6.4 billion in 2012. Berg Insight forecasts app revenues to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent to reach € 14.1 billion in 2017.

While many Western third party app stores are struggling, the situation is different in other parts of the world. "Third party app stores are especially popular in China and other markets where Google Play hasn't become the default on-device app store" said Johan Svanberg, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. Monetization is however particularly challenging in these markets, even though free to download strategies such as in-app advertising and in-app payments are promising and have been moderately successful.

The most important trends on the app market today are the popularity of free to download apps and multiplatform support. Furthermore, publishers commonly incorporate social features, where some build their own social platforms and others use existing social networks in order to expand their application user base and increase engagement. "Every app can find its own way to success, but common strategies today among many of the top revenue generating app developers are to publish apps featuring a social layer on more than one platform using free to download monetization" adds Mr. Svanberg. The mobile app market is highly competitive, but the economical upside can be great for the successful publishers.

For a free sample from the full report, or to see the full table of contents and an executive summary, please visit

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