Mobile Operators: New Best Friends for Music Merchants?

Which nations are the most hungry for consuming digital entertainment on their phones? China, Russia and Brazil, claims a recent mobile music study by Citrix looking into mobile music streaming. Paradoxically, these are also some of the biggest markets for piracy. One reason for this is 80% of people in these markets have no legal way to pay for music as they do not own a credit card:

Smartphone ownership grew in double-digit numbers in all three markets last year while credit card penetration remains largely the same. Even when new users are getting access to digital entertainment, most of them are still unable to access premium content. We have already seen this happening in the app industry - emerging markets have reached leading positions in terms of app downloads (India, Brazil, Russia for Google Play) but not in revenue. So how can music merchants overcome the lack of paying users in such markets?

One solution is working together with local mobile operators to collect payments with the help of mobile operator billing. Since revenue of operators’ traditional services (calls, messaging) is declining, they are usually very interested in running special promotions for digital good merchants - for example demographically segmented SMS campaigns.

Not only do operators enable payments for users who do not have credit cards, but they have strong insights into the local market and are closely connected to their customers.

Fortumo has been working together with mobile operators and merchants like BoxTV and Cubie, helping them earn revenue from markets where other payment methods do not work. This week we will be attending Midem - one of the largest music industry events in the world - and are looking forward to hearing how music service providers plan to tackle the issue of payments in emerging markets.

If you’re interested in expanding your payment coverage through carrier billing, please fill out the form below and we will get in touch with you: