Messaging traffic will double by 2019, driven by over-the-top (OTT) services like WhatsApp, Line and KakaoTalk, but revenues from the messaging market will actually decline as more and more consumers adopt free services.
While messages will grow from 31 trillion to 100 trillion over the next four years, revenues will decline from $113.5bn (£74.3bn) in 2014 to £112.9bn in 2019, a reduction of around $600m.
The figures come from Juniper Research's latest forecasts into the mobile messaging market, which suggests that revenues made by OTT services will draw level with those from traditional SMS and MMS providers by 2019, with as little as one per cent separating them.
However, it wasn't all good news for OTT services, as the report suggests that such services are struggling to monetise their services, with advertising on such apps often driving consumers to competitors, particularly in Asian markets.
Many messaging services have had to rely upon in-app purchases like sticker sets to generate income, while others are looking to diversify into the payments market in order to generate regular revenues.
While traditional messaging services from MNOs have been viewed as under threat from OTT offerings, and indeed have seen shrinking traffic over the past five years, they still dominate in terms of revenues, with networks also benefiting from the growth of the application-to-person sector.
Overall, the figures stand as a stark warning to every player in the messaging market, that while traffic will keep on growing, providers will have to look to other means of generating revenue if they want to survive.