Mobile content is any type of media which is viewed or used on mobile phones, like ringtones, graphics, discount offers, games, movies, and GPS navigation. As mobile phone use has grown since the mid 1990s, the significance of the devices in everyday life has grown accordingly. Owners of mobile phones can now use their devices to make calendar appointments, send and receive text messages (SMS), listen to music, watch videos, shoot videos, redeem coupons for purchases, view office documents, get driving instructions on a map and so forth. The use of mobile content has grown accordingly. Modern mobile phones can take photographs with a few million pixels. The Nokia N93 can create videos of comparable resolution to a DVD, storing up to 90 minutes on the phone memory. Mobile content can also refer to text or multimedia hosted on websites, which may either be standard internet pages, or else specific mobile pages.
Mobile content via SMS is still the main technology for communication used to send mobile consumers messages, especially simple content such as ringtones and wallpapers. Because SMS is the main messaging technology used by young people, it is still the most effective way of reaching this target market. SMS is also ubiquitous, reaching a wider audience than any other technology available in the mobile space (MMS, bluetooth, mobile e-mail or WAP). More important than anything else, SMS is extremely easy to use, what makes adoption increase day by day.
Although many say that SMS is an old technology that sooner or later will be replaced by fancier like MMS or WAP, the fact is that SMS reinvents itself continuously. One example is the introduction of applications where mobile tickets are sent to consumers via SMS, which contains a WAP-Push that contains a link where a barcode is placed. This clearly substitutes MMS, which has a limited reach and still suffers from interoperability problems.
It is important to keep enhancing the consumer confidence in using SMS for mobile content applications. This means, if a consumer has ordered a new wallpaper or ringtone, this has to work properly, in a speedy and reliable way. Therefore it is important to choose the right SMS gateway provider in order to ensure quality-of-service along the whole path of the content SMS until reaching the consumer's mobile. Modern phones come with Bluetooth. This allows video to be sent from phone to phone over Bluetooth, which has the advantages that there is no data charge.
Mobile games are applications that allow people to play a game on a mobile handset. The main categories of mobile games include Puzzle/Strategy, Retro/Arcade, Action/Adventure, Card/Casino, Trivia/Word, Sports/Racing, given in approximate order of their popularity.
Several studies have shown that the majority of mobile games are bought and played by women. Sixty-five percent of mobile game revenue is driven by female wireless subscribers. They are the biggest driver of revenue for the Puzzle/Strategy category; comprising 72 percent of the total share of revenue, while men made up 28 percent (see Table 2). Women dominate revenue generation for all mobile game categories, with the exception of Action/Adventure mobile games, in which men drive 60 percent of the revenue for that category. It's also said that teens are three times as likely as those over twenty to play cell phone games.
Mobile music is any audio file that is played on a mobile phone. Mobile music is normally formatted as an AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) file or an MP3, and comes in several different formats. Monophonic ringtones were the earliest form of ringtone, and played one tone at a time. This was improved upon with polyphonic ringtones, which played several tones at the same time so a more convincing melody could be created. The next step was to play clips of actual songs, which were dubbed Realtones. These are preferred by record labels as this evolution of the ringtone has allowed them to gain a cut of lucurative ringtone market. In short Realtones generate royalties for record labels (the master recording owners) as well as publishers (the writers), however, when Monophonic or Polyphonic ringtones are sold only publishing or "mechanical" royalties are incurred as no master recording has been exploited. Some companies promote covertones, which are ringtones that are recorded by cover bands to sound like a famous song. Recently Ringback tones have become available, which are played to the person calling the owner of the ringback tone. Voicetones are ringtones that play someone talking or shouting rather than music, and there are various of ringtones of natural and everyday sounds. Realtones are the most popular form of ringtones. As an example, they captures 76.4% of the US ringtone market in the second quarter of 2006, followed by monophonic and polyphonic ringtones at 12% and ringback tones and 11.5% - but monophonic and polyphonic ringtones are falling in popularity while ringback tones are growing. This trend is common around the globe. A recent innovation is the singtone, whereby "the user's voice is recorded singing to a popular music track and then "tuned-up" automatically to sound good. This can then be downloaded as a ringtone or sent to another user's mobile phone" said the director of Synchro Arts, the developers.
As well as mobile music there are full track downloads, which are an entire song encoded to play on a mobile phone. These can be purchased and bought over the mobile network, but data charges can make this prohibitive. The other way to get a song onto a mobile phone is by "side loading" it, which normally involves downloading the song onto a computer and then transferring it to the mobile phone via Bluetooth, infra-red or cable connections. It is possible to use a full track as a ringtone. Mobile music is becoming an integral part of the music industry as a whole. In 2005 the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) said it expects mobile music to generate more revenues that online music before the end of that year. In the first half of 2005 the digital music market grew enough to offset the fall in the traditional music market - without including the sale of ringtones, which still makes up the majority of mobile music sales around the globe.