05 January 2009

Welcome to MEF’s new Social Media Press Office

Andrew Bud, Executive Chairman of mBlox and Global Board Chairman of the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF), introduces the MEF Social Media Press Office with a look back at 2008 and a look towards what is in store for MEF and the mobile content industry in 2009.

I’d like to welcome you to the MEF’s exciting new Social Media Press Office. We’ve designed this site so that we can communicate quickly and dynamically with the industry and the world’s media.

As the global trade association of the mobile media industry, it is our task to deliver change that enables the industry to grow faster, to illuminate key trends in the market, and to carry out public affairs work to support the industry’s development through better regulation and a positive consumer experience.

We’ve had a busy and effective 2008. Key achievements include:

  • Shaping regulation by gaining industry-wide backing for MEF’s UK and US Participation TV Codes of Conduct
  • Raising awareness of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS)and the Unfair Commercial Practices Directives (UCPD) to protect the Industry’s revenues and ensure a positive consumer experience
  • Launching MEF’s Content Sales Reporting initiative to tackle revenue leakage of up to 10%
  • Succesfully lobbying helped halt the Verizon Wireless proposed MT fee increase 
  • Delivering competitive advantage to members by sizing the market for Advertising Funded Mobile Entertainment across 3 continents and 5 countries
  • The best ever Meffys Awards showcasing the global and diverse mobile entertainment industry
  • New members including BBC, Bharti Telecoms, Dolby; KPMG; MediaFlo, Publicis, RIM; Telefonica Group, Turkcell, Vimpelcom and Zed.
  • The expansion of MEF activities into the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Canada
  • Launching the MEF Business Confidence Index to highlight the state of the industry and key trends

2009 promises to be an important and interesting year for mobile entertainment. On one hand, the global economy is facing unprecedented challenges. On the other, our $25bn global industry has already weathered and prospered through hard times as well as good and 2009 will be a year in which almost a decade of investments begin to deliver returns. By the end of 2009 over 30% of consumers in the developed world will have 3G handsets with 80%-90% HSPA coverage, making 2009 the year that mobile internet and video really take off.

Through an emerging combination of flat-rate data plans and content-sender-pays data schemes, the consumer’s fear of using rich mobile media will start to dwindle. The ‘iPhone effect’ has resulted in mobile applications emerging as a new content category which will grow in 2009. New phone-top widgets and applications, and the proliferation of touch-screen devices, will make the purchase experience better for many consumers. The consumer’s desire for quality entertainment in anxious times will grow our industry’s market, as it becomes increasingly able to deliver a better product.

The higher growth economies continue to prosper and in many cases to lead the way. In 2009, Russia will become the largest mobile entertainment market outside the US, and the Asian and South American markets continue to impress. The success in such markets of ringback tones and mobile micropayments will in 2009 have a big effect on the revenue-hungry Atlantic markets. MEF is forecasting that demand for mobile entertainment consumption will remain robust as people enjoy small luxuries during the global recession whilst Emerging Economies will be the driver for mobile entertainment worldwide.

MEF’s task in 2009 is to illuminate these trends in a rapidly changing market with data, metrics and insights which give our members real competitive advantage in the mobile media market. We will identify bottlenecks – such as poor content reporting or a lack of network enablers – and work to address them. And we will work to ensure that the global trend towards more active, hands-on regulation and away from risk-based approaches, resulting from the global banking crisis, has positive results and does not harm our industry and its market.

Despite the challenges, I am excited about the prospects for our industry and MEF’s role in it. Founded in 2000, MEF grew continuously through the very lean years of 2001-3, and today our 160 members represent the toughened leadership of a mature and fast-changing industry. In the digital economy, they will make history, not submit to it.

No comments: