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Brands look towards the mobile space as GSMA report predicts unparalleled growth for the mobile ecosystem by 2020

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GSMAAccording to the latest report by GSMA called “The Mobile Economy India, 2013” the mobile ecosystem would contribute almost 21.6 lakh crore to India’s GDP by 2020. In 2012, the mobile ecosystem generated Rs 1.27 Lakh crore. Mobile might become the new game changer for marketers in the coming years.

India is already the second largest market in the world in terms of mobile connections and unique subscribers with nearly 900 million mobile connections and 350 million subscribers. Report also predicted the 3G and 4G adoption to increase by 31 per cent from 107 million 3G and 4G connections in 2013 to 409 million connections by 2017. As a result of changing trends in the mobile ecosystem, marketers are incorporating mobile in their marketing strategy.
The mobile ad market in India is expected to touch Rs 430 by 2014 according to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA). The availability of smart phones and tablets has given rise to this trend.

The GSMA report revealed some interesting mobile trends in India which include how Voice traffic growth has slowed and the use of data and value-added services is growing. The effective price per minute has declined sharply across India from Rs. 0.595 per minute to Rs. 0.400 per minute. The growth generated from voice services has declined from 175 per cent in 2005 to 9 per cent in 2012, whereas the non-voice revenue has catapulted from 171 crores in 2005 to 4,930 crores in 2012.

Speaking from a marketer’s point of view Anne Bouverot, Director General of GSMA said, “Looking at the consumer shift from voice based services to data based services, I do not see any worry for marketers, there are enough ways to work on the data based revenue model if your voice and sms based models are not giving desired dividends.” Adding to what Bourvet said Sandeep Karanwal, Director, GSMA-India said, “Brands are increasingly finding the mobile space relevant for their branding and advertising. I suppose this is one big area of contribution to the expected 408 per cent growth in revenue for mobile ecosystem.”

Speaking about the sector’s potential in the coming years, Bouverot said, “The Indian mobile industry is fast paced and innovative, but it currently lacks the regulatory environment to support its ambitions.” She stressed on the fact that more of spectrum needed to be released especially in the bands below 1GHz.

Socio-economic benefits are another factor which will interest the gen next marketer. A similar study conducted by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research on behalf of the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications revealed that mobile phones will be spurring social and economic development. A study entitled, ‘Mobile Technologies – The Digital Fabric of our Lives’, reveals how these small devices are economic heavyweights that positively influence social development. The Mobile Economy report 2013 also assesses the social impact of mobile technology and its power to address global challenges across four key sectors – healthcare, agriculture, financial services and education. The power of penetration has brought in a radical shift in the Indian television industry and now it is the turn of mobile to become the favourite advertising medium for marketers from all of the above mentioned sectors.

Speaking about Video becoming the next big thing for mobile operators, Preetesh Chouhan, VP-APAC, Vdopia Inc said, “Mobile is also being seen as the second TV at home. Mobile TV is catching up very fast and lots of content creators will start creating content for mobiles. It has become a competitive platform and is emerging as a popular trend. Initially for every new thing there is a resistance, thereafter this adaptation cycle follows. Mobile video advertising is going through that adoption phase and it is happening swiftly. Advertisers work with us on mobile video platform very convincingly.”

Tata Docomo’s Tutor on mobile service provides a knowledge market place for affordable access to education. Content is sourced from about 75 providers including other subscribers and delivered via multiple channels including WAP, SMS, IVRS and video. In the first year, approximately 1.5 million pieces of mEducation content were accessed attracting about 200,000 users. If the value addition offered by mobile is already showing growth potential, it won’t be long before it becomes the favourite advertising medium for marketers.

By Ankur Gaurav

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