$273 Million Premium SMS Revenue is a Third of Mobile Content Revenue

$273 Million Premium SMS Revenue is a Third of Mobile Content Revenue

According to the new Telephia Premium SMS Report,  Premium SMS revenues totaled more than $273 million, making up 32 percent of mobile content revenue in Q1 2007. This report includes content purchased via premium SMS from off-portal storefronts as well as premium text messaging services, like voting/sweepstakes and chat.

(SMS was originally defined as part of the GSM series of standards in 1985 as a means of sending messages of up to 160 characters, to and from GSM mobile handsets. The term SMS is frequently used in a non-technical sense to refer to text messages themselves, particularly in non-English-speaking European countries where the GSM system is well-established.)

Download purchases paid for via premium SMS (at off-portal storefronts) totaled nearly $215 million, accounting for 79 percent of premium SMS revenue. These off-portal storefront purchases include content such as ringtones and horoscopes. Voting/sweepstakes entries generated more than $35 million. While voting/sweepstakes entries generated only 13 percent of total revenues for premium SMS transactions, they represented 47 percent of premium SMS volume, equaling more than 34 million transactions. 

Kanishka Agarwal, vice president of mobile media, Telephia, said "Premium text messaging continues to be an additional way to reach consumers directly...  (with) a healthy slice of the mobile content market, accounting for an off-portal share of 32 percent... marketers are experimenting beyond the standard rate SMS voting pioneered by American Idol and tapping into premium SMS with voting/sweepstakes campaigns. NBC's Deal or No Deal has translated into a premium SMS hit, generating nearly half of the volume and revenue of voting/sweepstakes entries in the first quarter of 2007." 

Premium SMS Transaction Volume and Revenue Share (U.S.)

Category Type

Volume Share

# of Transactions

Revenue Share %

Total Q1 2007 Revenue

Off-portal Storefront Purchases





Voting/Sweepstakes Entries















Source: Telephia Premium SMS Report and Telephia Attitudes and Behavior  Survey, Q1 2007

 *Represents unclassified premium SMS short codes

For more information about Telephia, and the complete release, please go here.
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