1. A strong shift from off-line to on-line advertising, driven by growth in mobile-targeted marketing.
Tightening marketing budgets demand more controlled spending and better value. Mobile starts to look a lot more appealing, offering attractive costs of acquisition and more precise targeting than off-line or PC delivery. Brands will be able to measure mobile ROI with a very high degree of accuracy and use analytics to better deliver mobile campaigns and understand their consumers.
2. Major online retailers eye new opportunities in mobile.
We believe that one major “e-commerce” retailer will acquire a D2C mobile content provider to expand its presence in digital content. The big guns in the on-line music, video and books markets will have identified mobile as an increasingly important media platform and will want to expand into this area. One implication is how such a move from a major player would threaten Apple’s position as a leading music retailer for mobile devices.
3. Music becomes DRM free.
Online music retailers follow Amazon and Napster’s lead and meet consumer preference for DRM free music that can be transferred effortlessly between phone and PC. Mobile phones will become the dominant platform for listening to music, boosted by their portability, the high storage capability of the latest phones and the ability to play the ubiquitous MP3 format – DRM free of course!
4. Economic prudence drives down fixed line broadband subscriptions in favour of mobile data plans.
Over recent years people have started to cancel their landlines in favour of using mobiles for all voice calls. We predict users will start to cancel their fixed line broadband subscriptions and upgrade to smartphones and wireless “dongles” to get on the internet. This consolidation will happen first in the US where nearly 20% of mobile users have a smartphone.
5. Open Access fever continues…..
Of the remaining proprietary players, US operator Verizon will finally open up its Brew shackles in 2009, enabling it to further grow its data business with a fully realized, open internet offering. However, the other closed mobile player, Apple, is likely to remain closed on the back of the momentum it has built around the iPhone and its App Store. As if replaying history from 20 years ago, the Apple solution will plateau as more mainstream, open and cost-effective content and application environments emerge. Which will go on to become the Microsoft of the mobile world? While we predict plenty of activity in 2009, it will be too soon to declare a winner.