Mobile Money Down the Drain

David Murphy

The mobile entertainment industry is throwing away up to 10% of its gross revenues, due to inconsistent and inaccurate content sales reporting, according to research from the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF). The findings were unveiled yesterday as part of MEFs global Content Sales Reporting Initiative.
An overwhelming 93% of industry members surveyed across the mobile ecosystem believe accurate content sales reporting is critical to the long-term success of the industry. Currently, says the MEF, different reporting styles are a key issue affecting business across the value chain, from operators to service and content providers. One in two respondents said they receive up to 50 different types of reports, and this confusion is exacerbated by the fact that there is no clear reporting line within the value chain.
Further to this, 42% said their reports are not accurate. Most respondents cited loss of revenue, wasted resources and reduced investment in mobile content as common results of poor content reporting.
To combat these issues, MEF is working with key industry stakeholders to create best practice guidelines for content sales reporting that can be adopted within the industry. The initiative is designed to address specific issues around timeliness, relevance, accuracy and consistency of reports.
According to the MEF, the challenge will be to find some common ground between all the different parties involved and their individual needs. For example, when asked how often they would like to receive reports, 37% of respondents said they want real time statistics, 15% want them daily and 22% want weekly and monthly reporting.
These results show how acutely the industry is affected by the lack of reporting guidelines, says Jason Wells, Senior Vice President, Mobile Entertainment at Sony Pictures Television International. It is clear that we need to pull together to resolve the issues and implement best reporting practices, and MEFs best practice guidelines will lead the way. Standardised reporting will give us an extremely accurate and clear picture of how content is delivered and used, which will benefit all the players in the value chain.
Suhail Bhat, Policy and Initiatives Director for MEF, believes the consultation is a major step in uncovering the depth of the issue, and how it directly affects revenues across the board.
The mobile entertainment market is now a huge global force, with revenues exceeding $25 billion (12 billion) yearly, says Bhat. Our systems and processes need to reflect this in order to take the industry to the next level.
The results of the survey will be used to inform the MEFs Content Sales Reporting Best Practice Guidelines, which are due to be released in Q1 of 2008.