2009 Predictions 4, 5 and 6

Well, I did it again this year – managed to squeeze out my first 3 predictions before running off on holiday. So this is where I start to finish things off, even though we’re now well into the New Year (and have a great one, everyone!)…..

4. Global messaging revenues pass $150 Billion

Pretty unequivocal that. Currently, it’s around $130 Billion, so I’d say it’s very aggressive growth that I’m forecasting. It assumes more rapid growth for sms and the fact that mms is finally taking off, albeit mainly sending photos on a P2P basis currently.

When we talk such big numbers, it’s useful to put perspective to play. Current Hollywood box office revenues worldwide in 2008 were about $9 billion – yes, it’s dwarfed by messaging revenues alone.

5. It’s the Economy, Stupid

This isn’t really a prediction, but a series of mini-predictions that I’ve bundled up into one, which will result from the current dire economic situation the bankers and Governments have dumped us all in – thanks guys, we love ya! The list also includes suggestions from various MobHappy readers too – thanks.

– More messaging at the expense of voice, leading to a faster decline in voice revenues.
– Flat rate data spreading more widely to pre-pay (James Cooper of mjelly.
– More and more people cutting the cord and abandoning landlines.
– Mobile advertising continues to thrive due to proven ROI against traditional media(Bango). Phew!
– VC funded startups begin to fail (mjelly and Rudy)

So all in all, dire, gnashing of teeth, but some bright spots in the other areas I’m writing about.

6. Location Based Services Proliferate

I think that this is the year when creativity comes to Location and some very interesting things happen as a result – albeit in a small way. We’ll start to move away from find-my-nearest and simple buddy trackers and start to see innovation.

Mind you, there’ll be a plethora of buddy finders too, enabled via various technologies but especially good old Google Maps. Leaving aside whether buddy finders are enough of a mass market proposition, I’m still not convinced that there’s much of a business model here yet. While there are some indictions that people will pay (Loopt and Flirtomatic’s bolt-on service spring to mind), there’s lots of people relying on advertising to make a business case.

The trouble is that the ad industry is generally not geared up to this kind of thinking and the market is a few years away yet. Which leaves these startups in the middle of a recession without an obvious revenue model. Not a comfortable place to be.

So I’d predict at least 3 players out there don’t make 2009 – sorry people, but timing is a very cruel mistress.

Look out for my remaining predictions next week and if you have anything to add or generally wish to scoff and call me wrong, please leave a comment.

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