2009 Australia - Digital Media - Online Interactive Services

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Last updated: 27 Apr 2009 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 105

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the key market segments that are evolving in the interactive online media market. It provides on overview of the developments within each of these sectors. The report includes analyses, statistics, forecasts and trends. It provides a comprehensive insight into the progress of the Online Interactive Services market and examines the key issues and opportunities.


Subjects covered include:

·         Covering: Google/YouTube, Yahoo, eBay/Skype, AOL, Microsoft, News Ltd/MySpace;

·         Overview and analysis of the digital media and entertainment market;

·         Key trends in digital media;

·         Overview of file sharing networks and a discussion on these activities;

·         Brief overview of global online services developments;

·         Overview of social network, virtual worlds and user generated content markets;

·         Australian online music, MP3 and podcasting developments, forecasts, overview key players;

·         Overview of the Australian online gambling and gaming market;

·         Overview of the mobile gaming market;

·         The Mobile Media overview of products and services;

·         The early mobile media drivers: ringtones and wallpaper;

·         Mobile fraud issues.


Researcher:-Paul Budde, Kylie Wansink

Current publication date:- April 2009 (1st Edition)

Next publication date:- April 1010

Executive Summary

BuddeComm’s annual publication Australia - Digital Media - Online Interactive Services profiles the market sectors in the online interactive services market. The report provides market statistics and analysis on the services and companies involved in the online music market, online gaming, virtual worlds, social networking and the products and services of the mobile media market.


In the next few years the global entertainment and publishing industry is expected to be worth more than $2 trillion – driven in particular by a wave of growth in online video games/gambling, music, social networking/UGC, online video, etc. Online video consumption is also beginning to produce promising results and advertisers have begun to give it serious attention. Pay-to-own downloading is particularly popular and new business models in this area are expected to emerge over the next few years. Travel, gambling, gaming, adult content and health services are also in demand, with more growth expected.


The market is led by Internet media companies such as Google/YouTube, Yahoo, eBay/Skype, AOL, Microsoft, News Ltd/MySpace. They have been at the forefront in shaping the developments in digital media for the last five years. Despite being challenged by the telcos they maintained the upper hand. In future the battle will be between the traditional media and the Internet media companies, and this will continue for some time.


The music market

Music has been the key driver behind the early developments in the digital media, both in mobile and fixed networks. In recent times sales of digital music, mostly via the Internet, have increased by more than 30%. Sales of CD and DVDs, on the other hand, continue to decline.


While mobile is the preferred technology for listening to music, the business models are not conducive to helping people become accustomed to using these networks for music delivery. Most will use free or cheap Internet sites to gain access to music.


A totally unprepared music industry has suffered greatly from the switch to e-music, and it is only now beginning to recover. MP3, or podcasting, has gone well beyond the music application, and millions of podcasts (some in video format) are downloaded daily. All this is also a fair indication of the future direction of the video entertainment and wireless broadband (mobility) market.


Online games and gambling

The global online gambling industry continues to grow, despite regulatory restraints and the economic downturn. Online gambling operations are cheaper to operate than traditional establishments and so are better placed to weather an economic downturn. In addition, the number of Internet users around the world continues to grow, resulting in an ever-expanding customer base. Online games also remain popular and in-game advertisers are taking note, especially as there is evidence that free online games are becoming more popular in the current economic environment.


As speed and capacity increase, a whole new range of applications will be entering the market over the next decade. Console games have changed dramatically, with games, music and movies all merging and integrating. Growing penetration of broadband and mobile 3G networks will also promote growth in online gaming. A record growth year for video game sales in Australia in 2008 saw Australia’s video game industry produce $1.5 billion in sales.



Social networks and UGC

It is natural for people to want to communicate and the Internet has always provided a forum for user generated content, from the early bulletin boards to today’s video blogs that allow for new levels of interaction. In recent times social networking has been dominated by industry leaders MySpace and, in particular, Facebook.


Other competitors are now scrambling to capture market share and social network services are evolving and looking at further innovations to maintain users’ attention. Mobile social networking services are being developed also. In 2009 the economic downturn is expected to impact upon advertising spend in this sector.


Virtual worlds

Virtual worlds are just one example of the developments occurring as part of the Web 2.0. The most high profile of these is Second Life; the popularity of this virtual world has exploded over the past couple of years from around 1.5 million users reported in 2006, to nearly 13 million registered users in 2008. However the departure of some high-profile companies in 2007 and 2008 has left the industry wondering whether its growth will continue unabated, and attention is turning towards its competitors such as There.com.


Mobile media market

Business models for content providers utilising the portals of the mobile operators remain shaky, with operators still charging a hefty 30-50% of revenues. With capped data access, services will move ‘off deck.’


By 2009 over a million users were bypassing the portals. Ringtones and wallpaper still dominate the portal market followed by music and games. ‘Off deck’ will see increased use of Internet-based services and email instead of SMS. However, mobile operators still hold the key to a powerful tool – mobile billing.


Key highlights:

  • In the next few years the global online industry is expected to be worth more than $2 trillion.
  • Global P2P Internet traffic will continue to grow almost 400% – up from 1.6 petabytes to almost 8 petabytes per month by 2012.
  • The global adult entertainment industry is worth around $2 billion a year.
  • Annual revenue growth in the overall music industry has declined by 35% per annum.
  • Online music sales for 2008 amounted to $25 million, but this doesn’t compensate for the losses.
  • A record growth year for video game sales in Australia in 2008 saw the industry grow to $1.5 billion.
  • By 2009 over a million users were bypassing the mobile operator’s portals.
  • Tabcorp Internet betting revenues top $1 billion.
  • In 2008 the number of mobile games units purchased increased by 50%.
  • The value of ringtone and wallpaper services market declined to around $65 million in 2008.
  • Cloud computing has become a key area of focus for Internet media companies.
  • Google’s search engine market share is 62% in 2009.
  • The economic downturn is expected to impact upon advertising spend in social networks.


Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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