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Fortune Telling Makes Fortune in Japan

Fortune Telling Makes Fortune in Japan
Two years ago when I was researching the French Infotainment market, I was surprised to see that as per Jupiter Research “Other Infotainment” (news, media, sports, mobile gambling, horoscopes, comics and jokes) was a Euro 92 million business in 2008 and expected to have a CAGR of 29%. “Other Infotainment” account for 13% of the total content & services spending in France.
I wanted to reconfirm this and connected with AMA, (subsidiary of Ubisoft) one of the players in mobile content business. AMA informed me that it was generating majority of its revenue targeting the “Other Infotainment”. Its target group was female population in the French speaking nations. On an average AMA was generating 1.5 million downloads per month only in France. Based on this number I estimated that AMA was probably generating Euro 36 Million revenue from France.
Watching the global mobile market explode with i-Phones, Samsung One, and Blackberry Curve, I assumed that consumers were now ready to play with “cool apps” vs. “other infotainment,” but early this week I was proven wrong. Even in Japan where mobile industry has been galloping ahead of other nations, I was surprised to learn that “Other Infotainment” had now expanded further.
Recently at SVC Wireless SIG, the CEO of Zappallas — a Japanese mobile content company presented the Japan story. It was obvious that in 2008 Mobile content revenue in Japan was a billion dollar industry — to be precise $ 4.8 Billion. 47% of this revenue is generated by “Decomail” —or Decorative Email, but the surprise item was something called “Fortune Telling” or horoscopes as we call it in the west. “Fortune Telling” accounts for 10% of the mobile content revenue in Japan and Zapellas has 28% of the Fortune Telling market.
Most of the listeners in the room were amazed that a simple old world product such as horoscope was helping Zappllas generate $ 120 million, but there was more to just basic horoscope.
The Japanese are culturally inclined to get their “fortune telling” practically everyday. So Zappallas has targeted the 28-34 female population for this business. All the users of this service need to input all personal details such as name, sex, age, even name of your partner, etc. to generate customized “fortune telling”. Hence users have no choice but to share the correct information. Zappallas has used this profiling via old world horoscope to their advantage.
They have been using this profiling diligently and have started pushing beauty products to its customer base. As per their latest report they have been generating 18% revenue from mobile shopping. The future looks even brighter as they plan to take this profiling into social networking.
While the Japanese mobile market has been surprising us all the time, this basic method of data collecting is defiantly generating good value.

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