The speed of innovation in the new economy is simply overwhelming. New products, add ons and new innovations are simply coming at the speed of thought. The latest to hit the markets is an interesting product from the house of Qualcomm that could cause ripples in the mobile entertainment market. Before I go on to the product we need to understand the mobile market and a little background.
The mobile entertainment market
The US is perhaps a good example if we look at the mobile entertainment market. In the US 75 per cent of the revenue comes from mobile content which comes from sales directly made on cell phones. This is also called "on deck". In other words your choice of downloads is more or less limited to what your service provider provides. Let's get the India picture into this. How much choice does the Indian cell phone user have in terms of downloads? If you think you have a choice please try and download a PVR ticket booking mobile application if you don't have an Airtel connection. In other words the average cell phone user's content choice is decided by the carrier.
On the other hand this "on deck" option ceases innovation as independent developers don't find the market lucrative enough as the carriers are calling the shots. Well all this could be in for a change if BREW BrandXtend has its way.
BrandXtend – delivering on and off deck
Two days ago telecom giant Qualcomm launched BrandXtend. So what exactly is BrandXtend and how is it linked to the mobile entertainment market.
BREW BrandXtend Signature Solution is a solution from Qualcomm which opens new channels for branded media, entertainment, music and game companies to deliver their content to consumers, while also leveraging the current BREW on-portal platform to drive advanced data services. BREW BrandXtend is aimed at driving the uptake of mobile content both on and off deck, collaborating with major brands to bring exciting, new content to operators and end-users.
In other words BrandXtend not only extends the reach of leading media and entertainment brands by aiding in the mobilization and distribution of content but also provides innovation at the developer level besides giving the ability for "on-deck" and "off-deck" delivery.
Revenue for content
Consider a current mobile content provider. How does he currently monetize content? In other words how will his consumers pay him? When you download content on your cell phone through your carrier, your carrier debits your account. But if your carrier doesn't have the content provider on its list then how does content monetize. A key differentiator for BREW BrandXtend is that it provides operators with a platform that enables them to monetize off-portal branded content in a reliable and scaleable way.
Growing Off-deck revenues
According to Nick Lane principal analyst, Informa Telecoms and Media, "multiple customer channels for the discovery and delivery of content have become essential, as the wireless industry continues to expand to include both on-deck and off-deck content. In the UK, more than 70 per cent of content revenues come from off-deck sources. While not as high in other key markets, the percentage of off-deck revenues is growing rapidly. Not only are operators now embracing the emergence of the off-deck market, but so are brands. Major brands are developing a dual on-and off-deck strategy designed to maximize revenues. This shift will enable brands to be more active in the creation and promotion of their rich mobile content."
According to Mitch Oliver, vice president of solutions and marketing, Qualcomm, "Qualcomm's BREW BrandXtend provides the wireless content industry with a new solution designed to drive the discovery and delivery of advanced data services. The BREW BrandXtend Signature Solution will be able to assist the entire wireless value chain in extending the reach and breadth of compelling mobile content to target audiences through new discovery avenues."
For Qualcomm BrandXtend means a new revenue stream based on the BREW stream in which Qualcomm takes a part of the sales.
Value Added Services in India
India is one of the world leaders in the cell phone market. In the mobile entertainment and value added services too India is growing at a phenomenal pace. Consider the following statistic. One in every 11 people logging on to the web across the world through mobile phones is turning out to be an Indian. According to data compiled by UK-based Bango Plc, a total of 27 per cent of users logging on to the Internet through mobile phones come from the UK, followed by 21 per cent in the US and about 11 per cent in South Africa. While Indians account for just 9 per cent of the total number of mobile web users, the number has grown considerably from 4 per cent a year ago.
BrandXtend has been launched in interesting times when the market for value added services is growing and delivery mechanisms being developed. BrandXtend could turn out to be a good development in the mobilization and distribution of content.