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Review of the PRS Market 2012-2013

15 November 2013


PhonepayPlus today publishes its Market Review 2012-2013. This report provides information about consumer engagement with premium rate services (PRS), the current market position and the expected market direction. The research was commissioned by PhonepayPlus, in association with AIME, and completed by BDRC Continental.


This year, the research is published in two parts. The first, the Market Direction Report, was compiled from interviews with industry members combined with consumer spending and industry output data. The second, the Consumer Engagement Report, was drawn from a consumer survey of PRS and other micropayment users.

The key findings of the Market Direction Report include:

  • The proliferation of smartphones, giving consumers access to free information, has contributed to a fall in ‘traditional’ PRS revenues.
  • At the same time, the growth in smartphones, tablets and use of social media bring possibilities for growth and innovation.
  • There is optimism amongst emerging services, such as charitable donations, gaming and gambling.
  • The proliferation of payment methods available to merchants and consumers for the same goods, leading to competition between payment methods.

The key findings of the Consumer Engagement Report include:

  • For users of PRS, the replacement of PRS with credit/debit card or one click payments would significantly reduce consumption.
  • PRS is chosen by regular users for its convenience, trust, value for money and the discrete, anonymous, nature of the payment method.
  • However, there are still trust issues for some and with 09 numbers in particular. Also, trust is a key reason for micropayment users not using PRS.
  • Most PRS users (58%) find prices clear.
  • There is room for optimism for the future of PRS as a payment method. Especially if it is able to extend into new areas such as payment for low value physical and quasi-physical goods.

The full reports can be found here:

Market Direction Report
Consumer Engagement Report

The Market Review is being published later than usual this year because of the need to resolve some methodological issues that arose during the compilation of the research.