3 might be exiting the UK but there is some good news: "The one outstanding success for 3 has been its mobile content strategy. 3 UK CEO, Bob Fuller, said last month that the firm will generate mobile entertainment revenues of £100m in 2006, a far higher figure, per subscriber, than its rivals. Mobile music has been a strong play for 3. Sales of music via its network represent 10 per cent of the UK singles market. Historically 3 has had a strong portal and walled garden approach to mobile content but it is now rapidly embracing web 2.0 and a more open approach. Its strength in mobile entertainment has enabled 3 to generate the highest ARPU figures in the UK. In the second quarter of 2006, 3's blended ARPU - averaged out across postpaid and prepaid customers - was £41.51, according to Informa Telecoms & Media of which £10.16 was derived from messaging and entertainment services."
I'd note that whilst they may now be moving to a "web 2.0" approach (whatever that is) 3 managed to stimulate these sales of content through a deeply unfashionable means - a walled garden - which seems to have worked nonetheless.
How do these figures compare to those from other operators? Has anyone else seen this level of ARPU or contributed this much to UK music sales?