Methodology & definitions
All data in Mobile Intelligence is gathered first hand, directly from:
- Mobile network operators
- Trade bodies
- National regulators
- Handset manufacturers
- Infrastructure providers
- Mobile TV service providers and broadcasters
- Mobile music service providers and record labels
- Mobile games service publishers and developers
We maintain regular contact with many of these companies, actively seeking feedback on our data and forecasts. News sources are constantly monitored, and our analysts, who work exclusively on mobile content, assess the reliability and validity of each piece of information to build up the best possible picture of the marketplace.
We pride ourselves on knowing the background to every number and every data point within our Intelligence service and never rely on third party sources.
Where data is not available, estimates are made. These estimates are based on our intimate knowledge of the mobile market and based on discussion with the companies involved in the sector.
We do not rely simply on statistical curve fits or other basic modeling techniques which we have found to be completely inadequate in forecasting media markets. All of our models are based on our analysts' in-depth understanding of the markets concerned and the players involved and are developed on a ground-up basis taking into account both past and current growth rates and the individual factors that go into contributing to a market size or value.
All inputs required are thus overseen by a senior analyst who will apply his own market knowledge and take into account company guidance and information and feedback obtained from interviews with senior industry executives involved in the market.
The exact methodology varies model by model but taking the mobile TV model as an example, the factors considered include:
- spectrum availability
- historical subscriber figures
- TV popularity in that market
- total consumer mobile content spend
- 3G takeup
- existing and likely future business models
These are just a few of the factors considered, and each country is modeled individually. We also discuss our mobile TV models regularly with the TV department at Screen Digest for their expert input to the model. Screen Digest's digital music experts also have input on our mobile music model, and likewise our mobile games model is compiled in conjunction with the video games team.
Because each model is individual and each market different, an analyst is always available at the end of a telephone to explain the thinking behind a forecast or to give general market views.
- 3G - A wireless mobile technology which must allow for data transfer speeds up to 2Mbps. W-CDMA, CDMA 2000 1xEV-DO and any of the HSPA family (including HSPA, HSDPA and HSUPA) are considered 3G. For the avoidance of doubt, Screen Digest does not consider CDMA 2000 1x networks as 3G since the maximum data transfer speed is 144Kbps. Later revisions of the EDGE technology do fulfil this specification, but most EDGE networks are not considered 3G since most EDGE deployments are earlier revisions.
- ARPU - ARPU is an acronym for Average Revenue per Unit and is equivalent to the average revenue generated by each subscription (not subscriber) in a given period, usually monthly or yearly.
- Broadcast - Broadcast services are 'one to many' communications networks. For mobile TV, this includes technologies such as DVB-H, T-DMB, S-DMB, ISDB-T, and DAB-IP.
- Central and Eastern Europe - Regional market totals for the Central and Eastern Europe region are made in reference to the markets we cover only.
- Churn - Churn is an expression of the number of customers leaving a network (cancelling their subscription) in a given period calculated as a percentage of the average number of customers to that network during the period.
- Content - Mobile content revenue is data traffic over a mobile network excluding messaging. Therefore our content revenue figures include browsing and email as well as content such as mobile games, music, TV and video. They exclude SMS and MMS messaging revenues, but may include revenues from 'instant messaging' systems.
- Free - Screen Digest considers mobile services to be free if they are without a direct cost to the end user. Free mobile TV could therefore include advertising supported programming or TV services provided as a promotional part of a high-value mobile contract.
- FTD - Stands for full track downloads. This refers to music content where a permanent copy of a complete music track is downloaded to a user's phone. This is the common term used in the mobile industry and equates to the term STD (single track download) more commonly used in the online music industry.
- Global - Any of Screen Digest's Mobile Media Intelligence 'global' figures are made in reference to the markets we cover only. 'Global' is a term of convenience only and should not be inferred to mean the size of the worldwide market.
- Mobile technology - A technology which allows for wireless data transfer and which must allow for seamless transfer as the user moves between different telecommunication cells. This distinguishes mobile telephony from technologies such as wi-fi and this definition also excludes devices which cannot communicate with a mobile telephony network such as iPods.
- Mobile broadband - High-speed wireless connection supplied over mobile operators' cellular networks. These include consumer connections only, excluding business. Access can be via laptops or PCs with a connected USB modem/stick, data card or with in-built capability; this excludes mobile handsets. Typically uses UMTS or 3G technologies such as HSPA (high speed packet access) or CDMA; forecasts suppose the deployment of emerging LTE technologies. Mobile broadband connections allow for seamless transfer as the user moves between different telecommunication cells - a feature lacking with fixed line broadband technologies. Currently, connections served using technologies developed under the Mobile WiMax (802.16e) IEEE standard are excluded from the definition.
- Mobile games - Screen Digest's mobile games market includes downloadable games (using technologies including J2ME, BREW, Symbian, ExEn and Mophun) and subscriptions to games services. Only games distributed by network operators are considered. Games coming from other distribution channels such as embedded games and direct to consumer portals (including Android Market, iPhone App Store and N-Gage) are not included in our mobile games data unless otherwise stated. Our mobile games market also does not include SMS games (such as those used for interactive TV) or gambling.
- Mobile music - Mobile music includes full track music, albums, access subscriptions, mastertones and ringback tones. A la carte download and subscription business models are covered for each of the five content types. For the avoidance of doubt, Screen Digest does not track monophonic or polyphonic ringtones.
- Mobile TV - Screen Digest considers mobile TV to be "linear" television programming, as defined by the EC in its TV without Frontiers (Television sans Frontières) directive. An audiovisual media service where a media service provider decides upon the moment in time when a specific programme is transmitted and establishes the programme schedule. Note that the definition applies regardless of whether broadcast or unicast delivery mechanisms are used.
- Mobile Video - Screen Digest considers mobile video to be "non-linear" audiovisual content, as defined by the EC in its TV without Frontiers (Television sans Frontiers) directive. An audiovisual media service where the user decides upon the moment in time when a specific programme is transmitted on the basis of a choice of content selected by the media service provider. Note that the definition applies regardless of whether broadcast or unicast delivery mechanisms are used.
- PPD - Stands for pay-per-day and refers to the business model used for mobile TV, where a flat charge is made for daily access. This can also refer to pay-per-download, a model typically used in mobile games, video and music, where content is sold through a one-off payment for a discrete download.
- PPP - Stands for pay-per-play and refers to the business model used for mobile games, where a charge is made each time a game is played. This is also known as a rental business model.
- PPV - Stands for pay-per-view and refers to the business model used for mobile television, where the user is charged according to time viewed.
- Rental - Access to a piece of content for a time-limited period. With reference to mobile games, we only consider subscriptions to a service as subscription, not to an individual title and monthly payments for an individual title are considered a time-based games rental. In the market for mobile music, rental typically refers to music content paid for by an ongoing subscription which becomes 'locked' if a user cancels the subscription.
- Subscribers - A subscriber is an individual mobile telephony customer, the important distinction being that a subscriber is a single unique unit and thus differs from a subscription (see below). Aside from subscribing to mobile telephony, subscribers may, in addition, be subscribers to content services (see Subscription below).
- Subscription - A subscription represents an individual service contract and thus a single subscriber can represent several subscriptions. For example, a subscriber could have one subscription for a personal phone, one for a business phone and one for a laptop data card. Subscriptions to content (such as games, music and TV) are an ongoing payment for access to a range of content. This can differ slightly to the definitions used in some industries, particularly games. Screen Digest only considers subscriptions to a games service as a subscription, not to an individual title. Monthly payments for an individual title are considered a time-based games rental.
- Unicast - Screen Digest uses the term unicast to mean a one-to-one data connection for delivery of mobile audiovisual content. Mobile TV services delivered over either a 2G or 3G network are considered unicast.