Good News in a Tough Time?

Mobile content, ad sales will hit $67 billion in 2012“, a post written by Robert Andrews at paidContent, got me thinking about how we talk about the size of markets.

Based on a report from Strategy Analytics, the article outlines the size and shape of the mobile market in 2012. The total market for is said to be $149.8 billion, broken down as follows:

  • $82.8 billion in mobile data subscription sales
  • $26.1 billion in app downloads
  • $11.6 billion in mobile advertising revenues
  • $29.4 billion in everything else (presumably content sales)

It was the last number that got me thinking, for two reasons. Despite the headline, the precise figure for “content sales” is actually not spelled out in the paidContent report. I wasn’t able to access to the source document, so it’s not clear to me what “everything else” is.

That’s a data literacy challenge of the sort I posted about last week. Trade coverage often enough picks up the top-line data from these reports, but the devil truly is in the details.

The other thing that struck me: if content sales on mobile platforms are anything close to $29 billion, they would dwarf some of our existing, physical-product industries. Now that would be good news in a tough time. It just doesn’t feel quite right.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.