Who said MMS is dead? First the iPhone gets MMS and now according to a report by Juniper Research, revenue from MMS advertising is going to soar to 8.7bn over the next five years with a 94% growth rate.
The report, ‘Mobile Messaging & IP Evolution’, found that the Far East & China would lead the global ad-funded MMS market by a considerable margin, followed by North America and Western Europe.
Personally I think Europe is leading the way with MMS ads especially in the UK. The work I’ve done with Vodafone over the past 3 years was heavily focused on targeted MMS ads to millions of customers every year. Check out examples here and here. Also companies like Blyk and 3 are doing a fair amount of MMS ads to customers.
Ever since I first got involved with MMS I’ve been excited by the huge potential. Messages can contain video, audio, images and text, all seamlessly sent to the customer with no cost incurred to them (in the UK at least). Far more engaging than SMS if done correctly.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still make your ads targeted and relevant though, and that’s where mobile operators have the upper hand. They know what handset the customer has, if they are set up to receive MMS and more importantly behavioral habits and demographics. The problem for brands has generally been that access to this data has been closed off. However according to various sources this is due to change in the future with operators looking for new revenue streams. This will hopefully bring the cost of bulk buying MMS down, as it stands it’s far too costly. I have a feeling that the iPhone will help bring down the consumer cost of MMS so this should hopefully affect the business cost.
One interesting (although obvious) snippet:
The number of brands using MMS as an advertising medium is growing rapidly, with push MMS and SMS being employed to great effect in both mature and emerging markets. Crucially, this has enabled network operators to support ad-funded voice and SMS tariffs, and combat falling ARPU, while providing brands with new advertising channels.
I’m looking forward to see how brands (and O2) approach the iPhones ability to send and receive MMS. Depending on how MMS is implemented into the iPhone it could lead to some great ad experiences similar to the ones created using apps.