The Rise of Carrier Billing in ePublishing in Europe

24 June 2021
Carrier Billing

Changing consumer preferences and advancements in technology is increasing the demand for online media – accelerated of course, by the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift from traditional ePublishing revenue streams is evident, as publishers read up on and immerse themselves in new ways to generate revenue from digital content.

Europe in particular is a lucrative market for ePublishing, according to Statista:

  • In 2021, Europe’s ePublishing revenue is set to hit US$6,378m
  • From 2021-2025, ePublishing revenue in Europe is set to have an “annual growth rate (CAGR 2021-2025) of 3.05%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$7,194m by 2025”
  • eBooks make up Europe’s largest market segment with a market forecast of US$3,213m in 2021

More and more users are accessing content online. User penetration in Europe is set to grow from 19.5% in 2021 to 20.9% by 2025, with the average revenue per user (ARPU) set to reach US$38.48. A healthy ARPU when also considering the cost-effective nature of ePublishing, where digital content publishers save on the likes of sales, printing and logistics.

Other benefits of ePublishing include being able to tap into younger, more digital savvy/new audiences who prefer to consume and access content on mobile and on the go – where and when they need it.

The UK is one of the most established ePublishing markets in Europe, set to grow from USD $1.3 billion in 2018 to $1.6billion by 2023. France is expected to catch up with the UK by 2023 (with the market growing from $800 million to $1 billion) and a CAGR of almost 10% – well ahead of global revenue growth of 6.1%.

ePublishing Business Models

New ePublishing business models such as “digital distribution, PPV, subscriptions, self-publishing and Print on demand” are emerging.

With the digital shift from traditional publishing, ePublishers should also keep in mind that the development of Audiobooks (with top services like Audible) and eBooks are also attractive online content for key audiences.

Statista analysts suggest that there may be opportunities to “establish popular business models” such as subscription-based services in this market. ePublishers should also look at overcoming challenges such as offering widely popular newspapers or magazines that prefer to sell their own electronic versions and combining great content from larger publishers within the one service.

Benefits of Carrier Billing for ePublishing Merchants

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the adoption of carrier billing, with 50% of merchants hoping to use it as a payment method this year.

One key factor in the success of today’s ePublishing market is considering the user experience of consuming digital content, in line with audience preferences. Why not make it easy for your customers to access digital content, online news, eBooks and audiobooks by conveniently charging payments to their mobile phone bill?

Carrier billing is simple, seamless and secure and can offer a payment option to users in countries with lower credit and debit card ownership and high smartphone penetration.

A combination of user experience, subscription services, a mix of content and easy payments like carrier billing looks likely to become this year’s big success story for ePublishing in Europe and beyond.

SLA Digital can help ePublishing merchants secure new revenue streams by connecting them to global mobile operators for carrier billing. Contact us today to find out more.

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