When the internet is put in the hands of billions worldwide, you get one of the largest, fastest-changing entertainment markets to ever exist. As mobile technology improves and our culture reacts to it, there’s no telling what 2030’s mobile industry will look like. However, we can take a guess thanks to a clear link between mobile usage and the world’s emerging economies.
Mobile Entertainment In 2023
Mobile entertainment is split into three main categories – video streaming, gaming, and social media. There’s a lot of crossover, as you can imagine, with video-sharing sites like YouTube hosting live streams and often labeled social media. In fact, within each category are many different industries that contribute and benefit immensely from the past growth of mobile entertainment.
That includes industries that have ventured online and found much success. Take online casinos as an example of what happened when gambling met the internet, where the ability to apply casino offers for new customers became more widespread. Throw in smartphones and their ability to go online, then we get the 2010s when social media and other forms of online entertainment exploded in popularity. For context, in 2016 mobile browsing overtook desktop, proving that the future of many industries lies with smartphones and tablets.
In 2023, that leaves mobile dominating internet traffic at 55% to 60%, depending on specific research and their measurement criteria. Even non-entertainment industries like e-commerce see as many as 80% of shopping queries sent from smartphones – it’s more convenient than booting up a PC or finding a store.
There is a barrier to mobile entertainment, however, as there will always be those who prefer a larger screen and so choose a smart TV instead. TVs and larger appliances changed to become more like smartphones, becoming internet-enabled and running the same apps that began on mobile platforms.
Mobiles & Emerging Economies
To see what the mobile entertainment industry may look like in 2030, we should look at an underrated trend throughout the 2010s. It isn’t the rise of tech companies offering apps and other leisure experiences – it’s the emerging economies and how they have wholesale integrated mobiles into how they experience the internet.
In areas where infrastructure may be lacking, the smartphone became a viable alternative to a desktop, a pocket computer that had much of the same functionality. Over this last decade, we witnessed the meteoric rise of Indian internet penetration and, having a total population of around a billion (approaching two) it made a big splash. In 2023, India is still orbiting a 50% internet penetration rate, so they have a long way to go. When newly developing regions explore the internet, it’s much more cost-efficient for them to do it on mobile with data plans instead.
Throw in Africa and South America and you have even more adopters who haven’t got a taste of the internet yet. While countries like Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa have decent internet penetration rates, much of Africa is still below 30%. In South America, the west coast with countries like Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru are also nearly 50%.
This is the trend that will guarantee mobile entertainment, already a growing tech industry, will grow perhaps even faster than projected. There’s a whole untapped market for mobile usage, where entertainment is sure to follow. It is unfortunate but, it has been reported that in areas like the sub-Sahara, Africans have more mobile access than consistent electricity. This is thankfully changing as infrastructure develops but, if mobile proves to be the more convenient and culturally accepted alternative in these regions, desktop computing may never take off like it did in Western countries, before the smartphone was invented. As for the numbers – the mobile entertainment market broke $100 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach anywhere between $250 and $300 billion in the next ten years. That’s a CAGR between 8% and 10%. Only time will tell if these projections are correct. If they failed to take this phenomenon into account, we think their numbers might be low-balling it.
Alexia is the author at Research Snipers covering all technology news including Google, Apple, Android, Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung News, and More.