A recent report is highlighting the massive growth that is expected in mobile data consumption as users of smartphones increasingly use their devices for watching video, playing games, interacting with a variety of social media and other uses.
According a report from Informa Telecoms & Media, by the year 2016 mobile users will consume eight times more social media than currently, downloading 14 times as many megabytes of applications and browsing will increase six fold.
The two driving factors will be the increased use of smartphones, which currently are roughly half the handsets sold and the increase in overall mobile users. Not listed in the report but most likely also a driving factor is faster networks.
This presents a major opportunity not only for sports teams and leagues but also for the growing ecosystem of app developers involved in this space, from office league sponsored developments such as MLB At Bat 12 to sports aggregation news readers such as Recapp. With smartphones increasing in storage capacity app developers can also make larger, fuller featured products to grab users attention.
Currently mobile users can get access to a growing number of live sporting events including a wide range of college football, Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Hockey League and Soccer matches are all available, however they are often limited to a single carrier of you need to subscribe to the correct cable network.
If sports continue this path it seems that they will be missing out on a larger opportunity. It is nice that Verizon has hockey, but I don’t have Verizon. If I want NFL and hockey do I need two phones? To really cash in the leagues will need to come up with something other than exclusive deals with a single carrier, otherwise they are intentionally missing a huge segment of the market.