According to a recent report, Japan’s mobile content marketplace in 2006 was worth some ¥928.5 billion, (approx. $800 million) posting an increase of 129% year-on-year. Noted by category the mobile content market, transactions for fee-based content, comprised ¥366.1 billion, marking an increase of 116% over 2005. Mobile commerce — including hard goods, services, and transactions — made up ¥562.4 billion, an increase of 138% over final results for fiscal 2005.
Within the mobile content market, the downloadable ringtone melody business shrank some 20% from the previous year to 84.3 billion yen, but the real-tone market showed substantial growth of 135% to reach a total 75.9 billion yen. In addition, growth could also be seen in new services like “decorated mail,” which generated some 5.5 billion yen, as well as the electronic book market, which showed considerable growth over the previous year to reach ¥6.9 billion.
In terms of mobile commerce, there was considerable growth in the sale in the three major areas of hard goods (mobile mail order), services (including banking, travel, air and rail tickets), and transactions (such as fees for stock trading, auctions, and racing). A particular increase was seen in hard goods, which showed an increase of 168% over the previous year.
Impressive, almost $6 for every man, woman and child! Clearly the continued increase of 3G network subscribers combined with desirable contents and services, such as digital TV broadcasting and mobile commerce transactions, indicate continued growth potential in the Japan market. However, the domestic content, application and service providers really do need to begin planning more aggressively for opportunities overseas, considering the fundamental difference in carrier strategies, as those regions begin to mature.