We are the UK regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill.

PSA publishes Annual Market Review 2016-17

28 July 2017

Charity text donations remains largest sector in the phone-paid services market whilst voice revenues continue to decline

Findings from regulator the Phone-paid Services Authority’s Annual Market Review for 2016/17.

  • Phone-paid services market worth estimated £708 million
  • Mobile continues to dominate
  • 31% growth in Operator billing and Payforit revenues driving the market forward
  • Market grows by 4.5%, although this viewed as an artificial high

Today the Phone-paid Services Authority publishes its Annual Market Review for 2016/17. The review, delivered by Mobilesquared, highlights strong growth in operator billing and increased consumer satisfaction levels, whilst revenues from voices services continue to decline and consumer mistrust remains an issue.

Charity donations continues to be the largest market sector with £115m donated via text with mobile-based revenues as a whole making up 75% of the market. Directory enquiries, the largest phone-paid service sector up until 2015/16, has experienced the largest decline with revenues down by 21%.

Although the findings show the market has grew by 4.5% in FY16/17, the increase represents an artificial high. Recent regulatory changes have improved the consumer experience of online competition and online adult services, ensuring consumers are able to purchase services with confidence. 

Jo Prowse, Chief Executive of the Phone-paid Services Authority said:
“This year’s Annual Market Review shows positive growth in a number of areas including operator billing which is up 31%.

“The report highlights that people like the convenience of paying for goods and services through their phone bills. The continued popularity of donating to charity by text highlights the convenience and trust people have in phone-paid services when they are delivered well.

“Whilst the report highlights that customer satisfaction has improved, trust remains an issue for the industry to address.

“We look forward to working with stakeholders to improve the consumer experience of services and will continue to support innovation that meets consumers’ demands.”

 Annual Market Review 2016/17