Content consumption in the mobile industry has continued to witness a dramatic rise since the inception of Value Added Services (VAS). Despite some reports of a slowdown based on economic factors, user demand for content based services is still on the rise. One undeniable fact is the exponential growth in smartphone usage as mobile technology has taken over various segments of the African market thereby unlocking new opportunities.
Mobile phone users have become encouraged to view content as a source of information, update on new trends and also solution to everyday problems. Caller Tunes is one of the most successful content based value added services which is widely being used all over the continent. Content has continued to penetrate across the mobile and digital ecosystem.
Tapping into the right content has become an issue of growing concern in the VAS industry due to the consistent demand for content based services. Taking into cognizance the African market, entertainment VAS is widely consumed because it is designed for mass appeal and leisure time compared to other sectors such as the Mobile Commerce VAS. To counter this difference and help bridge the gap,content providers should focus on providing content related to other aspects of the Telco industry that will be of increased value to consumers.
There are various aspect of modern day technologies in the IT world that have become an open door for the content providers in the VAS industry. Some of these aspects which should be explored and integrated into the VAS contents are IOT, big data and artificial intelligence. IOT has become the next phase of modern technology whereby the internet uses content and technologies made available to provide solutions. Big data is a rave in the moment, using user analysis, behavior and streamlined information to provide value to users. Artificial intelligence (AI) has witnessed a surge making it more possible to integrate machine learning. Another aspect of technology that should be further explored and integrated into VAS content is Location based solutions, as they will provide increased value for users.
Key factors to be considered when integrating and developing VAS content are consumers’ needs and wants, fun and enjoyability, affordability, time saving, convenient use, ease of access to information and lastly a comparative analysis of customer behavior. These would serve as a guideline for content developers in a bid to provide value and solve problems. Despite these considerations, it is also advisable to key into multilingualcontent varieties which will afford users the flexibility to access content in different languages.
It is not enough to develop VAS content; acquiring and retaining subscribers is equally as important. Promotion is key to acquiring subscribers to content platforms that deliver requisite value. In retaining subscribers, it is paramount for content providers to maintain a standard of delivering timely and relevant content of great quality to their subscribers.
Finally, in as much as content based services have become the rave of the moment, more emphasis should be laid on providing an even playing ground for every sector of the VAS industry; new opportunities that modern technology in IT has provided should be inculcated in providing relevant content to solve users’ practical recurrent problems in a more flexible manner.
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