Japan's Mobile-content Market Hit US$100B in 2007

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The value of business carried out through cell phones in Japan broke the US$100 billion mark for the first time in 2007, according to government figures.

The market, which includes content such as ring tones, as well as Web site subscriptions and e-commerce purchases carried out through cell phones, was worth ¥11.5 trillion (US$107.6 billion). That's a jump of 23 percent from 2006, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.

The e-commerce part of that was worth ¥7.2 trillion, up 29 percent on the year, fueled by movie and event ticket sales, travel reservations, air and rail ticket sales, stock trading and online auctions. The mobile-content market grew at a slower pace, expanding 16 percent to ¥4.2 trillion, the ministry said.

Of six content categories defined by the government, that for high-fidelity music was the largest at ¥1.1 trillion. The market grew a healthy 42 percent during the year as more handsets gained music players and users bought and downloaded more music to their phones. With that market growing, sales of simpler ring tones declined.

The mobile gaming market jumped 13 percent to ¥848 billion, and the e-book market expanded 220 percent to ¥221 billion.

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