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Ringtones will always be bigger than mobile smut

'Dirty little secret' retains niche appeal

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3GSM Ringtones and music will always take a bigger slice of the mobile content market than games or erotica, according to an adult content aggregator.

Blake Fayling of Brick House Mobile said the introduction of age verification systems had made it easier to sell what the industry calls "erotica" or adult content - and you'd call mobile porn - in Europe.

"A year ago we were only selling adult content in The Netherlands. Age verification has made the market more viable across Europe, although operator attitudes continue to differ. US wireless operators remain conservative," he explained.

Fayling said studies have shown that the most common users of mobile smut are 18 to 40-year-olds. Clips are often downloaded on the commute from work or in the bathroom at home or "anywhere where users have a free couple of minutes". Peak download times often come around midnight, often coinciding with times punters are watching major sports events.

The advent of higher speed mobile data services has stimulated the mobile smut market. Prices start at around €2 for a screen saver and €3 for a 30 second clip to €12 for a day's access to hardcore content.

Higher definition content is readily available on the net but mobile smut can have its advantages, according to Brick House. "Downloading adult content onto mobiles allows users to keep things as a dirty little secret," Fayling said.

Girls, games and gambling were often cited as the great driver for 3G but Fayling said that adult content remains a niche market. "Ringtones and mobile music are the big revenue earners. After that its games with other forms of mobile content - including erotica - way back," Fayling said. ®

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