Mobile operators can generate more than $14 billion in revenues over the next five years from content paid for via carrier billing, said Juniper Research.
The growth will be fuelled by a rise in carrier billed payments made on devices such as tablets, consoles and smart TVs.
Existing deployments of carrier billing on app storefronts have produced a marked increase in paid conversion rates (more than 30 times those of credit cards in some instances). They have enabled first-time monetisation of unbanked consumers and younger demographics. The sophistication of third-party carrier billing solutions now permits subscription billing, allowing for ongoing content monetisation.
In addition, many storefronts had found that carrier billing integration resulted in an uplift in average transaction values as well as volumes, partly due to higher sales of bundled in-app virtual items.
OTT (Over The Top) content providers such as Amazon, Netflix and Hulu were now adding value to their subscriptions through the addition of original content such as Transparent, Bosch and Ripper Street. The next step would be the acquisition of major sporting rights, but cautioned that the high cost would be a deterrent at the present time.
Even for free streamed sporting events, audiences are rarely in excess of a million – to recoup the cost of a successful bid, OTTs would need a paying audience of perhaps 10 million in some cases. By 2021, when the National Football League rights are due for renewal, the telecom industry would be surprised if one or more OTTs did not bid for an exclusive live package.