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Wednesday, January 31, 2007 


Positioning on carrier decks can make or break a mobile game title. Publishers who grab the best shelf space on carrier decks to show off their merchandise are rewarded with a significant bump in downloads and revenues, according to Telephia, the world's largest provider of syndicated consumer research to the telecom and mobile media markets. Telephia today launched its Mobile Game Merchandising product which, for the first time in the industry, quantifies and tracks the link between carrier deck placement and sales.

Telephia's Mobile Game Merchandising data shows that, mobile games promoted on a carrier's New, Featured or Best Seller decks saw 90 percent more downloads than when those same games were not promoted. Furthermore, titles that got top shelf placement on the first page of the carrier's deck achieved 53 percent more downloads than when those titles appeared on subsequent pages of the deck.

Conducted during Q4 2006, Telephia's research statistically analyzed the relationship between deck placement and sales for a broad sample of mobile game titles. Telephia is uniquely positioned to provide this analysis because it collects both deck placement data and title-level sales data. Rather than relying on self-reported purchases from consumer surveys to track games sales, Telephia maintains a panel of 35,000 mobile subscribers and passively tracks their purchase behavior by monitoring their phone bills. Telephia's point-of-sale data is the mobile media industry's standard measure of title-level market share.

"On-deck game downloads accounted for 74 percent of mobile game revenues in Q3 2006. Given the limited real estate on the mobile screen and the difficulty of driving consumer trial, getting top shelf placement is the #1 priority for game publishers," said Kanishka Agarwal , Vice President of Mobile Content, Telephia. "Our Mobile Game Merchandising product allows game publishers to competitively benchmark their share and quality of shelf space, and directly link it to the sales success of their titles. Our research takes the guesswork out of distribution and marketing mix decisions."

EA Mobile and Gameloft Dominate Top Shelf Space on Sprint's Game Decks

As the top mobile game publisher, with 29 percent share of all revenues in Q3 2006, it's not surprising to find EA Mobile as the top publisher on Sprint's What's Hot deck, which features best selling games. According to Telephia, EA Mobile's titles secured a 39 percent share of the first page on Sprint's What's Hot deck during the last six months of 2006 (see Table 1). They were followed by Gameloft, Namco, Hands-On Mobile and Glu Mobile. In comparison, on the first page of Sprint's What's New deck, Gameloft titles led with a 26 percent share of shelf, followed by Digital Chocolate, Glu Mobile, Vivendi Games and SkyZone Entertainment. Sprint's What's New deck features newly launched titles.

Table 1: Top Publishers on Sprint's What's Hot and What's New Decks, Ranked by Share of Shelf ( U.S. , H2-2006)

First Page of Sprint's What's Hot Deck

First Page of Sprint's What's New Deck


Share of Shelf


Share of Shelf

EA Mobile






Digital Chocolate




Glu Mobile


Hands-On Mobile


Vivendi Games


Glu Mobile


SkyZone Entertainment


Source: Telephia Mobile Game Merchandising, (H2, 2006)

Pedro "K2" Macêdo

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