Major Trends of the Russian Mobile Content Market (2006-2007)


The Russian mobile global is emerging fast in parallel with the Web universe. In 2006, the Russian fee-introduced services (VAS) market developed steadily and endured its growth in 1Q 2007, achieving USD 615 million, a 34% yr-on-yr growth, reported ComNews Research. All three main players of the VAS marketplace, operators, content material carriers (CP), aggregators, and subscribers, are growing with it. Major Russian cell operators brought more aggressive and assertive regulations within the VAS scene, launching new WAP portals and offerings and severely decreasing the range of content material partners. The VAS share in operators’ typical revenue structure reached 14% in 1Q 2007. With the release of the first 3G networks in 2007-2008, Russian operators will increase their content material imparting. Consolidation and stricter policy with the aid of operators reduce the range of core content material companies to 80 hundred organizations. Last year, CPs honed their skills in supplying IVR and RBT offerings, pushing for extra video content, cellular games, and network services.


Major CPs drove for better content presentation, introducing the latest products, and global market expansion. Today, the winning formulation of the Russian VAS market is ensuring content and diversification of services and products. IVR, SMS-based TV lotteries, RBT, and cellular video games starred in the most popular and successful content offerings section. IVR services caught the “Lady Luck” of sales in 2006. Furthermore, continuous WAP penetration boom, cell community offerings, and person-generated content promised that these 12 months might be wonderful. However, in any other case, a resurgent market has its pinch of salt. Piracy is at the upward thrust, while low content and SMS-unsolicited mail remained a widespread impediment to the marketplace’s faster improvement. Finally, ultimate excessive WAP-visitors prices and operators’ high revenue shares function as the extra burden to the market evolution.

What’s the Name of the Game?

Pavel Roitberg, Head of the Department of Products and Services, MTS, stated on the remaining Mobile Content Forum held in Moscow in June 2007 that “we have changed the game’s policies.” While earlier MTS, the biggest Russian cellular operator, had 250-three hundred content material partners, the analysis showed that 70% of all sales come from 15 principal partners, 20% from 20 CPs, and 10% from 35 companions. As a result, MTS ceased contracts with ineffective partners, cutting their basic accomplice number to approximately one hundred businesses. And this is pretty much the equal scenario for its competitors, VimpelCom and MegaFon.

In addition to an abundance of fraudulent content material, low quality diminished subscribers’ agreement with CPs and resulted in a pointy fall in content material sales in 2005. Learning from that bad reveal, principal operators and content material providers rushed to ensure the higher exceptional of cellular content material. For example, MTS created a content satisfactory management application, making its partners chargeable for the content material. At the same time, principal Russian CPs began an affiliation to manipulate cell content material services.

In 2006, the income of “heavy” and steeply-priced content grew similarly as subscribers got extra familiar with video, video games, software program programs, and complete mp3 tracks. Subscribers’ shopping strength in principal urban regions improved, and they are happy paying extra cash for “heavy” content. A substantial fashion of 2006 is the resurgence of operators’ activities within the VAS area of interest. Several Russian cellular operators created and promoted their portals and joined merchandising with some of the largest content material providers. Moreover, operators launched new billing methods: WAP-tariff, MT-charge, and WAP-click.

WAP Nets Grow Further

iKS-Consulting anticipated an average month-to-month WAP audience in Russia at 14 million customers. An average person is a male (65%) within the 17-23 age group (60%), says WAPStart research. The highest boom charges for brand-new subscribers are inside the outlying regions. Seventy-one % of subscribers browse WAP through pre-mounted cell browsers. In April 2006, there were over eighty 000,000 Cyrillic WAP websites. However, only about 20 WAP sites have a huge everyday target audience.

MTS has been one of the most lively mobile operators growing the VAS niche. It released a new, nicely designed WAP portal and streamlined its cooperation with content material carriers, facilitating the content aggregation market. MTS’ direct competitor and Russia’s rangetwo2 operator, VimpelCom (“BeeLine”), commenced a hit voice-CPA and WAP-CPA applications.

In 2006, main mobile content material carriers extensively diverse their services and continued their growth to the neighboring CIS marketplace, as well as globally, which includes INFO N (Belarus), InformMobil (Tajikistan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan), i-Free (Brazil and India), and Payton (South Africa, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia). Along with A1 and Interactive, other content material carriers honed their competencies in mobile marketing and intellectual branded services. For example, A1 is actively more advantageous to important FMCG brands in Russia and launched its new Java-primarily based cell community service “Ogloblya.” Similarly, Interactive stated that during 2006, the corporation worked with a few 1 million subscribers in Russia and prepared over 60 successful promotional sports.

There have been changes in merchandising techniques as well. Many CPs admitted that TV commercial performance is diminishing while fees for putting up an ad are skyrocketing. As a result, many CPs shifted their advertisement budgets to the WAP location and B2B partnership development. Yet, a few CPs still depend on TV advertising. For example, Nikita Mobile became the thirteenth area within the TOP-100 principal advertisers listing in 2006.

Bumpy Road

Despite the consistent boom of the cellular content material market, numerous demanding situations remained unresolved. One of the most massive was the shortage of creative content material and services. Overall, low content material fine and a lack of education among subscribers considerably reduced quicker market take-up. For instance, common, high-quality SMS-based TV contests undermined subscribers’ consideration: in many cases, subscribers received a high-quality quantity of SMS spam. Furthermore, many market analysts stated that cell operators’ revenue proportion was too high, resulting in a boom in the content material price. In addition, high WAP-visitors expenses introduced a load of increasingly high-priced “heavy” content to mobile subscribers.

All About XXX: Mobile Games Sales Set to Grow

Some 15 million copies of mobile video games were offered in 2006, anticipated Playmobile. Many marketplace analysts and players perceive mobile video games as a few future revenue-producing giants. The grownup and brand games generated the maximum profits and will stay famous in 2007, said DDM in its cell game research. Erotic games generated nearly 50% of sales, even as logo video games accounted for 20%-forty% of revenues accompanied by casual games. Among other probably thrilling merchandise are more than one participant games, commercial games, and PC-identify games.