Digital English Language Learning – Asia Region Report Released

The Asia market for Digital English Language Learning is hot. This region’s revenues—the highest on the planet—were $863.1 million in 2013 and by 2018 will be a whopping $1.6 billion.

Sam Adkins, Ambient Insight's chief research officer

Sam Adkins, Ambient Insight’s chief research officer

Sam Adkins, Ambient Insight’s Chief Research Officer and author of the Digital English Language Learning reports, provides the numbers and details on what is making this market boom in The 2013-2018 Asia Digital English Language Learning Market, the first of the regional reports in this series.

Mobile Learning value added services (VAS)

One of the important factors in the growth of the Asia English language market is the energetic growth of Mobile Learning value added services (VAS), a fusion of products and services that we identified first in the Asia region in 2008 and that since then has enjoyed a meteoric rise, particularly in developing economies, around the world. Telecoms and device makers created the market and are still the leaders.

Telecoms based in Asia as elsewhere are taking advantage of their reach—millions of customers—to partner with a host of language learning content providers to offer low-cost digital English lessons. Sam reports that by the end of 2013, there were 98 Mobile Learning VAS products in Asia and 230 million customers were using them; and those 98 VAS products accounted for nearly half (45%) of Mobile Learning VAS products on the planet. However, 5 of the 20 countries analyzed in this report do not yet have Mobile Learning VAS products—and this can mean new opportunities for suppliers.

2013-2018 Digital English Language Learning growth - AsiaIn Asia, English language learning is the top revenue-generating type of Mobile Learning VAS and the second product type in terms of growth. The top growth spot goes to Mobile Learning Apps and edugames. Of course, “mileage varies” country by country.

The full report identifies catalysts, details buyers—a particularly complex subject in the Asia region—and breaks out revenues for the five learning technology products they are buying.

For more about this market in Asia, including the other catalysts and country by country growth rates, download the free “2013-2018 Asia Digital English Language Learning Market Abstract” on Ambient Insight’s Digital English Language Learning Market Research page.

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Dubai – mEducation in the Desert

GSMAThe GSMA Connected Living Middle East Summit in Dubai in November 2013 brought together mobile network operators, device manufacturers, and NGOs active in mEducation (Mobile Learning) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Slides we presented highlighted key findings from Ambient Insight’s Mobile Learning research and forecasts for 2012-2017 in a closed session for GSMA members. (We compiled data from two regional reports—Middle East and Africa—to deliver the MENA outlook.)

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The Wednesday session on mEducation for Skills Development and Employability focused on “equipping young people throughout the Middle East and North Africa with the skills to enter the workforce through the use of mobile technology.” Presenters included Joe Yousr Battikh, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Ericcson; Lauren Dawes, Head of Mobile for Employment and mEducation Regional Lead, GSMA, Africa; George Held, Vice President of Commerce, Etisalat Group; Yomna El Meshad, Head of Mobile Learning, British Council; Mr Chams Ouerdiane, Proinvest/Tunisiana partner; and Yazeed Sheqem, Director of Business Development, Souktel.

Tyson and Hannah Dubai 2013-cc

Ambient Insight’s Tyson Greer and GSMA’s Hannah Metcalfe

The topic was well chosen, given high rates of unemployment and mobile penetration in the MENA region. GSMA’s Lauren Dawes reported that the MENA region is plagued by 32% unemployment (73 million), which is nearly three times the 12% rate of worldwide unemployment.

Mobile penetration in the region is the highest on the planet. Kuwait and Oman are the only countries in the world with mobile subscription rates over 200%.  Lauren Dawes also noted that “71% would spend their last $10 to top up their mobiles, rather than on food.” 

Given the high mobile penetration rate, it’s not surprising that mEducation has outpaced eLearning. The compound annual growth rate (2012-2017) for Mobile Learning in 15 MENA countries is 18% and for six of those countries, it is over 50%. High growth rates typically mean market opportunity.

Telecoms in the MENA region have responded to opportunities to deliver mEducation value added services (VAS). At the end of 2011, there were three Mobile Learning VAS in three countries; by the end of September 2013, there were 14 in six countries.

In spite of the impressive growth of Mobile Learning VAS, there are challenges–for the sustainability of the product type and for mobile network operators.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects risk failure because, to take an example from the real world, if a company goes in and builds a well and it breaks a year or two later, there’s likely no one to go back in and fix it. Likewise, without a revenue model, a VAS project can be difficult to sustain.

Morning Dubai 2013-11-16 004The Connected Living Summit was held in the extraordinary city of Dubai, a stunning study in contrasts. In a very few decades the city catapulted itself from a fishing village into a dazzling example of technology with the waters of the Persian Gulf on one side and the Arabian desert on the other.

 

Tyson with Harris Hawk

Ambient Insight CEO Tyson Greer flying a Harris Hawk.

The city can boast the tallest (if you discount another’s claim as an antenna, rather than architectural feature) building on the planet, water systems, and the efficient user-friendly in-city trains.

The desert gave us an opportunity for a remarkable first-hand experience at flying raptors at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.

 

 

 

 

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