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Syniverse Identifies $6 Billion Opportunity for Sponsored Mobile Usage in Asia

by david.nunes

Syniverse Identifies $6 Billion Opportunity for Sponsored Mobile Usage in Asia

    Sixty-two percent of consumers willing to accept sponsored packages in return for free data access
•    Mobile sponsorship could shift behavior to drive as much as a 40 percent increase in usage
•    Global opportunity could reach as much as $23 billion annually by 2019

SHANGHAI, China – July 15, 2015 – Results of a new Syniverse-commissioned primary research study in Asia find that consumer brands and mobile service providers in this region could unlock an annual revenue opportunity of as much as $6 billion by 2019 through the sponsorship of mobile data services.

In the sponsored-data model, companies sponsor usage for specific content on behalf of subscribers of various mobile service providers, allowing subscribers to access this content without being charged for the usage.

To better understand Asian consumers’ receptiveness to sponsored-data offerings, Syniverse commissioned On Device Research to conduct a survey among 3,500 people in seven countries across Asia. Among the major findings, the survey results reveal that consumers are generally willing to accept the branding of content, advertising and promotional material in return for free data:

•    Sixty-two percent of respondents said they would accept the branding of content and advertising in return for free data.
•    Forty-nine percent of respondents would be willing to accept coupon offers from sponsors.
•    Respondents also would be willing to accept offers from a wide range of sponsoring organizations, with 42 percent saying they would accept offers from entertainment providers.
•    Thirty-one percent of respondents would be willing to accept offers from bars, restaurants and cafes.
•    Twenty-nine percent would be willing to accept offers from travel companies.

“Content providers, mobile service providers and consumers have been stuck in a no-win situation when it comes to mobile data usage,” said Mary Clark, Chief Marketing Officer, Syniverse. “Consumers want to use more data along with richer mobile engagement, and operators and content providers are missing out on the revenue that this usage could deliver. The results of this study underline the business case that should motivate operators and their partners to consider sponsored-data plans as a way to drive revenue as well as consumer engagement.”  

Syniverse worked with economists at Strategic Economic Engineering Corp (SEEC) to analyze the primary research data from the study in parallel with secondary analyst data and market forecasts, and determine the potential market value of $6 billion a year by 2019.

“Our analysis shows that the sponsored-data model has the potential to substantially affect consumers’ behavior favorably for all parties involved,” said Sam Brown, Founder and CEO, SEEC. “The key to unlocking this potential, however, will be the ability of sponsors and operators to work together to hone highly personalized offers that meet individual user expectations and requirements for engagement.”

Clark added, “Not only does our study show consumers’ latent appetite for data and services, it also shows how other players could and should be involved. The message is clear: Sponsored data offers considerable benefits for all involved, enabling content providers to enjoy increased use of their services, providing mobile operators with a new source of revenue, and offering consumers cheaper access to content.”

Syniverse’s study builds on a number of recent accomplishments in Asia that have enabled the company to gain expertise in how consumer companies and operators can join forces to address opportunities for sponsored data. In May, Syniverse announced an application-to-person messaging solution for Bigo, a mobile service provider in Singapore that uses its app to offer free voice calls and messages to consumers worldwide. In 2014, through its acquisition of mobile service provider Aicent, Syniverse greatly expanded its network and infrastructure capabilities for working with consumer companies in Asia. That same year, Syniverse helped the China-based Internet services company Tencent deploy a mobile messaging platform for the consumers of its integrated shopping, gaming and entertainment Web portal, and Syniverse also helped optimize mobile customer engagement for Amazon China.

Additional Survey Results

Further results from the Syniverse study uncovered a number of other insights about Asian consumers’ receptiveness to sponsored data. Access to sponsored-data plans could significantly affect consumers’ content consumption and open a substantial revenue opportunity for sponsors and mobile operators:

• Data-intensive content, such as subscription video services (which are currently the most costly services to access), would see increases in usage of 40 percent.
• The same access would increase consumption of subscription-based music services by 25 percent.
• Other services expected to see moderate increases include free video services, voice and video calling services over data networks,  and online games.

•    Consumers are most willing to accept sponsorship for reduced or free data costs from the following types of sponsoring organizations:
•    Entertainment providers (42 percent of respondents)
•    Bars, restaurants and cafes (31 percent of respondents)
•    Travel companies (30 percent of respondents).

•    Consumers are also most willing to accept sponsored branding or advertising in order to gain free access to or use of the following:
•    Websites, for mobile Internet browsing (43 percent of respondents)
•    Social networking applications and services (41 percent of respondents)
•    Free Web-based video services (38 percent of respondents).

About Syniverse
Syniverse is the leading global transaction processor that connects more than 1,500 mobile service providers, enterprises, ISPs and OTTs in nearly 200 countries and territories, enabling seamless mobile communications across disparate and rapidly evolving networks, devices and applications. We deliver innovative cloud-based solutions that facilitate superior end-user experiences through always-on services and real-time engagement. For more than 25 years, Syniverse has been simplifying complexity to deliver the promise of mobility – a simple, interoperable experience, anytime, anywhere. For more information, visit www.syniverse.com, follow Syniverse on Twitter or connect with Syniverse on Facebook.

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