Juniper Research predicted a bright future for carrier billing, tipping the payment mechanism to generate $14 billion (€12.8 billion) in operator revenues over the next five years.
In a report, the research company said that operators and over-the-top (OTT) content companies including Amazon, Netflix and Hulu stand to gain from an extension of carrier billing options from traditional mobile phones to devices including tablet PCs, games consoles and smart TVs.
Previous research by the company identified direct carrier billing as an important asset in monetising digital content, particularly among 'unbanked' subscribers--those who do not have a bank account or credit card.
Juniper Research expands on that theory in its latest report, noting that carrier billing has enabled the first-time monetisation of unbanked and younger consumers in app stores. When banked users are included, the company said carrier billing can provide 30-times the paid conversion rate of credit card-based app store payments in some instances.
The company said app storefronts that utilise direct carrier billing reported a rise in average transaction values and volumes. Juniper Research noted the rises are partly attributable to higher sales of bundled in-app virtual items, suggesting carrier billing is also simplifying in-app purchases.
OTT companies can use carrier billing as a way to generate the revenues needed to expand their original programming content into sporting events, the research company explained.
Windsor Holden, author of the report, predicted carrier billing would enable those OTT companies to earn sufficient revenues to cover the high costs of securing the rights to broadcast major sporting events.
"Even for free streamed sporting events, audiences are rarely in excess of a million--to recoup the cost of a successful bid, OTTs would need a paying audience of perhaps 10 million in some cases," Holden explained, adding: "But by 2021, when the NFL (National Football League) rights are due for renewal, we would be surprised if one or more OTTs did not bid for an exclusive live package."
- see this Juniper Research release
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