RealTime IT News

Cell Phone Perks Making Market Waves

In five years, cell phone ringtones and games revenue will largely contribute to the mobile phone market, although the multimedia segment will only comprise a sliver of carriers' overall returns.

"Wireless Market Forecast, 2004 to 2009," out today from JupiterResearch, reports that by 2009, ringtone revenues will reach $724 million, a 234 percent increase over the $217 million that the market reaped in 2004. Game players are forecast to pay $430 million in 2009 for the miniature entertainment, a 497 percent increase from the $72 million paid in 2004.

However, according to the report, the mobile perks accounted for only 10 percent of carriers' non-access data in 2004. And overall mobile phone services revenues, which include messaging services in addition to the games and rings, remain in the single digits.

While ringtones and games have enjoyed high market penetration, the handsets capable of handling the services have not. But despite the overall low returns, the report believes the numbers give carriers something to look forward to.

"During the next five years, the mix of data services will evolve, but messaging will still account for 65 percent of non-voice, non-data access revenues," said Julie Ask, research director at JupiterResearch.

Though ringtones have a leg up in popularity right now, the report said, the increase in popularity of wallpaper, games, and content will add to the diversity of carriers' premium content revenue.

Jupiter Research and this publication share the same parent company.