The Mobile World in 2009 – According to Bango

There are still a few weeks of this year left, but Bango has got in early with some predictions for some trends that will shape the mobile world in the next 12 months. Were more than happy to share them with you

1. A strong shift from offline to online advertising, driven by growth in mobile-targeted marketing
Tightening marketing budgets demand more controlled spending and better value. Mobile starts to look a lot more appealing, offering attractive costs of acquisition and more precise targeting than offline or PC delivery. Brands will be able to measure mobile ROI with a very high degree of accuracy and use analytics to better deliver mobile campaigns and understand their consumers.

2. Major online retailers eye new opportunities in mobile
We believe that one major e-commerce retailer will acquire a D2C mobile content provider to expand its presence in digital content. The big guns in the online music, video and books markets will have identified mobile as an increasingly important media platform and will want to expand into this area. One implication is how such a move from a major player would threaten Apples position as a leading music retailer for mobile devices.

3. Music becomes DRM-free

Online music retailers follow Amazon and Napsters lead and meet consumer preference for DRM-free (Digital Rights Management-free) music that can be transferred effortlessly between the phone and the PC. Mobile phones will become the dominant platform for listening to music, boosted by their portability, the high storage capability of the latest phones and the ability to play the ubiquitous MP3 format DRM free of course!

4. Economic prudence drives down fixed-line broadband subscriptions in favour of mobile data plans
Over recent years, people have started to cancel their landlines in favour of using mobiles for all voice calls. We predict users will start to cancel their fixed-line broadband subscriptions and upgrade to Smartphones and wireless dongles to get on the Internet. This consolidation will happen first in the US, where nearly 20% of mobile users have a Smartphone.

5. Open-access fever continues
Of the remaining proprietary players, US operator Verizon will finally open up its Brew shackles in 2009, enabling it to further grow its data business with a fully realised, open Internet offering. However, the other closed mobile player, Apple, is likely to remain closed on the back of the momentum it has built around the iPhone and its App Store. As if replaying history from 20 years ago, the Apple solution will plateau as more mainstream, open and cost-effective content and application environments emerge. Which will go on to become the Microsoft of the mobile world? While we predict plenty of activity in 2009, it will be too soon to declare a winner.