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2018 review of Premium Rate Services

2018 review of Premium Rate Services

The premium rate service (PRS) market in the UK was worth £555.3 million in 2017-18 including charity donations, down 12.1% on the previous financial year. Excluding Charity donations, the phone-paid services market was worth £517.8 million, down 13%.

This represents the biggest year-on-year decline in revenues since the market decline commenced in 2010.  The accelerated decline is down to artificial revenues in FY2016-17 caused by the surge in promotions and sales of Non-broadcaster competitions and quizzes. 

Operator billing & PayforIt accounted for revenues of £200.4 million and a 36% share of total revenues, followed by Mobile (PSMS and voice short codes) with revenues of £170.2 million. 

Only Operator billing & PayforIt experienced year-on-year growth (19%), although this is significantly down on the year-on-year growth of 31.4% enjoyed in the previous financial year.

Mobile-based services now represent 74% of the PRS market here in UK.

Voice PPS/09 and TV red button has now become the largest of the voice-based payment mechanics with revenues of £54.8 million in FY2017-18.

In FY2015-16 Charity donations contributed to £122 million revenue. In 2017-18 only 2 years later we notice an accelerated decline of £37.5 million revenue. 

Directory Enquiries (DQ) created revenues of £46.9 million a large decline on the 2015-16 financial year where revenues were at £82.7 million. Voice 087 services have generated £45.4 million. 

Customer Perception, Consumer Research of Phone-Paid Services

• 85% of Phone-Paid services users said they had not experienced a problem with the service.

• 15% of users claim to have experienced an issue within the first 12 months where the service wasn’t up to expectation. 

• Three-quarters of users had never experienced a problem and said their usage of phone-paid services is unlikely to stop.

• 20.1% of PRS users complained that there was poor content or service.

• 27.1% of these users stopped using PRS because the content or service was considered expensive.

• The data suggests phone-paid services, on average, are becoming stickier and driving longer and more lasting engagement with the consumer.

• PRS Service types with the highest percentage of users experiencing a problem were; Adult talk Services  - 36%, ICSS – Call an Advisory service – 31%, Low-cost International or reverse charge calls – 30%, Customer Services – 28%, Tarot / Astrology – 27%

• On average, 21% of phone-paid services users participating in the consumer research claimed to have had their trust compromised by at least one phone-paid service over the previous 12-month period. This presents a significant improvement on the 32% of users in the previous year that claimed to have had their trust compromised.


If you would like to talk to one of our team to get any point clarifying please do not hesitate to contact us. Call us now on 0800 692 7000 or email new@08uk.co.uk so we can call you back.

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