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Thursday, December 19, 2013

MEF predictions: ten key mobile trends for 2014

MEF, the global trade association for companies engaged in mobile content and commerce, has revealed its mobile industry predictions for the next 12 months. Its forecast of the top ten trends combines insights from the group’s Global Board of Directors with research from the recent Global Mobile Consumer Survey.

1. The dawn of Mobile 3.0

The new breed of relationship super apps will displace one-off purchases – for music or video for example – with longer term subscription-based streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix. Higher value items will be purchased via the mobile device with users migrating their spending on big ticket items from online and the high street to mobile. [MEF’s 2013 Global Consumer Survey shows that the high spend threshold grew to 39% in 2013 (plus 8% from 2012) on items over $151].

2. The conversation will move from big data to smart data

Case studies will show that 2014 is the year mainstream users adopt advanced data analytics to create accurate, actionable insights that drive mobile content and commerce services and support fast, iterative product development in the quest to achieve maximum user engagement.

3. Second screening (not dual screening)

In 2014 developed market broadcasters will embrace second screening by offering tailored companion content, targeted advertising and direct opportunities to purchase from-ad-to-phone. In growth markets, the opportunity of second phone ownership will prevail. [49% of consumers in developed markets US, UK and China along with 42% of consumers in LATAM watch TV while using mobile media. In Asia this drops to 24%, but 51% of Indonesians use two phones]

4. Trust as a critical asset

Despite revelations on commercial tracking and compromise of consumer privacy, regulators and the public will be reassured by robust industry self-regulatory initiatives and the trend for Trust to be the biggest single barrier to purchase growth on mobile will reverse for the first time in three years. Apps and brands demonstrating data transparency and best practice will differentiate themselves as ‘Trusted Apps’.  [MEF’s Global Consumer Survey 2013 reported that 40% of consumers see Trust as the biggest single barrier, increasing from 35% in 2012 and 27% in 2011].

5. Wearable technology will create new ecosystems

Moving beyond glasses and experimentation, wearable sensor technology will support the new entry of major brand verticals into the market.  2014 will see the development of new ecosystems and mobile partnerships in wearables and will help accelerate mobile-led services such as m-health, insurance and personal safety.

6. Growth market device vendors will challenge

The market share of leaders Apple and Samsung will stay strong but decline, as device vendors from China and India take an increasingly significant share worldwide.

7. Major financial players will assert themselves in the mobile arena

Cross-border mobile money services, for payments and remittances, will start to show substantial traction for the first time in 2014.

8. Mass-adoption of education and m-health apps will be driven by mobile-first markets

In 2013, 26% of educational app usage was from India followed by 25% in South Africa and 20% in Kenya according to the results of MEF’s 13-country study. In, 2014 African mobile start-ups focused on these areas will secure venture investments exceeding $100m for the first time.

9. The internet of things becomes a reality

Driven by Open Standards, 2014 will see the emergence of a flourishing ecosystem for the wireless internet of things mostly controlled by the consumer through the mobile device including automotive and home automation.

10. Operators actively reclaim the consumer relationship

2014 will see operators launch new products & services around communications, payments & identity and partner with disrupters to establish greater consumer choice and value.

Andrew Bud, MEF’s Global Chair, said “2013 has been the year in which mobile became the principal area of opportunity, growth and innovation for start-ups and major technology vendors alike.  The energy has been global and we’ve seen centres of mobile content and commerce innovation spring up across the whole world. Consumers drive this progress with their enthusiasm to use the mobile device for deeper engagement with brands, services and commerce, along with the increasing willingness to undertake in higher value transactions and establish long term relationships via mobile. MEF’s third annual Global Consumer Survey indicates with real clarity that we are heading into a new phase - Mobile 3.0 - and our annual predictions for the industry reveal the power of evolution in existing ecosystems and the creation of exciting new ecosystems involving new brands and verticals.”

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