Mobile games more valuable than porn

And music on the rise too...

And music on the rise too...

The market for mobile content is set to be worth $42.8bn by the end of the decade, with kids' content earning the operators billions more than adults'.

According to analyst house Informa Telecoms and Media, of the $42.8bn which mobile content will bring in, mobile gaming will be worth $11.2bn, with 15 per cent of people downloading and playing a game on their handset by 2010.

The exclusively adult preserves of porn and gambling, however, will generate considerably less.

Adult entertainment will bring in a mere $2.3bn by 2010, the analysts predict. But even this comparatively meagre sum is not guaranteed unless pornographers and mobile operators can negotiate the legislative labyrinth and convince the authorities they can ensure adult content is not accessed by minors.

Gambling will net a comparatively healthy $7.6bn but will also find itself dodging the slings and arrows of the lawmakers if it is to succeed. In addition the gaming industry must make sure it's seen to be adopting the right attitude to preventing gambling addiction.

Stuart Dredge, analyst at Informa, said: "Operators have to be seen to be doing the right thing. Everyone has a potential casino in their pocket - there has to be more responsibility and the operators know that." Dredge added that measures to limit individual gambling should prove relatively easy to implement.

Gambling will keep pace with another mobile operator cash cow: music.

According to the report, the mobile music sector - ringtones, ring-back tones, full track downloads and streaming services - will be worth around $11bn by 2010.

The growth of non-ringtone music services will see a shake-up in the mobile content world, with operators forced to re-evaluate the pricing for both content and data.

Informa analyst Simon Dyson said: "Once people start buying realtones, they're going to question why they're paying $3 to $4 for 30 seconds when they could spend 99 cents and get the whole song. I think we'll see more bundling together of realtones and full track downloads... with that bundled in, it almost makes the price difference acceptable."

Dyson added that mobile music is unlikely to be an iPod killer just yet.

"I don't think in this timeframe [until 2010], there will be much impact on large capacity music players. That's not to say it won't impact on them in the future."