Mobile ticketing to reach 410m users by 2013

Within five years 410 million people will be mobile ticketing users says Juniper Research. Bar code reading issues, lack of reader infrastructure and the availability of NFC handsets means that most of the forecast users will be using their phone to store a ticket they bought elsewhere rather than using their phone to make the purchase. NFC will only reach its tipping point in 2011-2013…

Research from Juniper predicts rapid growth in mobile ticketing over the next five years

By 2013, 410 million people will be using their mobile phones for ticketing, up from 22 million at the end of 2008, says Juniper Research’s new ‘Mobile Ticketing: Transport, Sport, Entertainment & Events 2008-2013‘ report, and adoption will be particularly strong in Asia where 16% of all mobile phone users will be using mobile ticketing in five years time.

That’s the good news. The bad news for those hoping to see the introduction of full function mobile ticketing solutions, NFC-based or otherwise, is that the report categorises mobile ticketing in a very broad way:

Juniper Research defines a mobile ticketing user as “someone who stores a ticket on their mobile phone for later redemption” at the point of travel, the music venue, the cinema etc.

The purchase of the ticket does not need to have been initiated on the mobile phone and, more than likely, the main point of purchase for mobile tickets is currently either online at an eCommerce website, via a telephone call centre or alternatively at a physical ticket outlet or kiosk.

The Juniper definition therefore includes a very broad spectrum of applications, even including mobile boarding passes for air travel:

The Juniper Research report found that the leading sector will be transport, followed by entertainment and then sporting events.

The Far East and China region is leading the market, driven by adoption in Japan particularly amongst rail travellers. In addition airlines are beginning to offer mobile ticket purchasing.

Outside the transport segment, the report identified a number of ground-breaking trials and services, such as by cinema chains in India which buys 37% of all movie tickets sold worldwide.

In addition a number of football and baseball teams are beginning to offer mobile options for ticket purchase and delivery; however, many venues still require a printed ticket to gain entry.

“Mobile ticketing offers exciting new opportunities for ticket issuers to achieve increased sales including targeted last-minute sales campaigns,” says the report’s author Howard Wilcox. “For example, tickets for the sporting event or movie happening ‘tomorrow’ or ‘tonight’ could be marketed directly to known fans.”

However, Wilcox also warned that whilst NFC mobile user trial results have been encouraging, market traction will be determined by the availability of NFC phones and the speed of installation of NFC readers.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Total gross mobile ticketing transaction value will reach $92 billion by 2013.
  • The Far East & China region, together with Western Europe and North America, will represent in excess of 80% of this global gross transaction value by 2013.
  • Mobile ticketing must “make life easier” for users. In this respect, NFC, with its convenience, is a crucial development.
  • NFC will reach its tipping point over the 2011 to 2013 period.

A white paper called “Mobile — Just the ticket”, based on the new report, can be downloaded free of charge from the Juniper Research website. Further details on the report, which runs to 140 pages and costs £1,750, are also available on the website.

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