Tuesday, March 07, 2006

M:Metrics: Mobile Games Consumption Holds Steady at 6 Million

According to M:Metrics' latest research, "as the prices and selection of mobile games climb, consumption has remained consistent, with between 5 and 6 million mobile subscribers downloading at least one mobile game per month, over the past year."

M:Metrics "found that carriers have increased their game portfolios significantly since September. National carriers have added on average of about 59 titles to the storefront on the leading devices used to download content over a five month period since September 2005."

Seamus McAteer at M:Metrics said, "Our data shows that more games do not yield more gamers. In fact, an examination of the title mix across competing carriers reinforces the lack of any correlation. It is apparent that other factors, such as subscriber demographics and pricing, play a bigger role."

September October November December January
Average Number of Game Titles On Carrier Deck 296.2 308.6 318.8 339.4 354.8
Average Price 5.59 5.64 5.71 5.74 5.77
Average Subscription Price 2.76 2.80 2.88 2.88 2.90
Subscribers who played a downloaded mobile game in month (000s) 14,040 13,652 15,101 16,238 15,689
Subscribers who downloaded a mobile game in month (000s) 5,315 5,331 6,313 6,445 5,229

M:Metrics also noted that "the price of games increased steadily over the period. In the four months since September, prices for one-time downloads have increased by three percent while prices for subscriptions have increased by a whopping 22 percent."

McAteer added, "As all carriers more aggressively promote subscription-based models, they are also testing price inelasticity by gradually inching up average pricing. To grow the market, carriers must work in tandem with publishers to provide real value for a more expensive subscription, rather than treating it as just another pricing tactic." Some key stats are:
  • Males younger than 25 are the predominant consumers of mobile games, accounting for 29.9 percent of the market, making this demographic group more than twice as likely to download a mobile game compared with the market overall.
  • Motorola's RAZR emerged as the most popular gaming handset, with 305,588 mobile gamers reporting they downloaded a game onto the device in the quarter ended January 2006.
U.S. Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications
M:Metrics Benchmark Survey: January 2006
Activity Projected Monthly Reach (000s) Percent U.S. Mobile Subscribers Change
Sent Text Message 62,421 34.1% +2.4%
Retrieved News and Information 19,008 10.4% +2.3%
Purchased Ringtone 18,372 10.0% +3.9%
Used Photo Messaging 17,971 9.8% +5.7%
Used Personal E-mail 14,026 7.7% +4.3%
Used Mobile Instant Messenger 11,979 6.5% +3.6%
Used Work E-mail 8,479 4.6% +7.5%
Purchased Wallpaper or Screensaver 7,372 4.0% +2.7%
Downloaded Mobile Game 6,006 3.3% (-0.7%)
Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright © 2006. Survey of U.S. mobile subscribers. Data based on three-month moving average for period ending January 31, 2006, n= 35,649