Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mobile Internet Usage Increases

According to comScore, Inc., among the audience of 63.2 million people who accessed news and information on their mobile devices in January 2009, 22.4 million (35%) did so daily, more than double the size of the audience last year.

In January, 22.3 million people accessed news and information via a downloaded application. Maps are the most popular downloaded application with 8.2 million users, while search was the overwhelmingly favored use for SMS-based news and information access, with 14.1 million users. Overall, 32.4 million people used SMS to access news and information in January.

Mark Donovan, senior vice president, mobile, comScore, says "...use of mobile Internet (has) evolved from an occasional activity to being a daily part of people's lives... This underscores the growing importance of the mobile medium... to access time-sensitive and utilitarian information."

Young males are the most avid users of mobile news and information, says the report, with half of 18 to 34-year-old males engaging in the activity. The mobile Internet is also popular among females in the 18 to 24-year-old demographic, with 40 percent accessing it at least once in January.

Donovan concludes, "...much of the growth in news and information usage is driven by the increased popularity of downloaded applications and by text-based searches... smartphones and high-end feature phones... comprise the Top 10 devices used for news and information access... 70% of those accessing mobile Internet content are using feature phones."

Concurrently, QuickPlay Media revealed the results of its 2009 independent Market Tools survey focused on mobile TV and video consumption in the US. showing that consumers are confident in the uptake of mobile TV and video, with 78% expecting an increase in usage by 2010. Perceived cost represents the biggest barrier to adoption, with 58% indicating that it is the number one reason they have not viewed TV and video on their mobile phone.
  • 55% of respondents stated they are interested in mobile TV and video.
  • 46% of respondents are aware that their carrier offers a mobile TV and/or video service, vs. the 35% percent seen in the 2008
  • 49% of respondents have a monthly voice and data plan through their wireless carrier versus 38% who currently use a monthly voice-only plan
  • 51% said that they would be willing to accept advertising in return for free TV and video content versus 54% in 2008
Consumers show a preference for snacking on content instead of setting aside dedicated viewing times, says the QuickPlay report. Specific findings include:
  • 25% respondents view content in between daily activities, 16% while in transit (i.e. on the bus, etc.) and 11% while waiting in line
  • 66% said they would consider the ability to pause and resume content a deciding factor in whether or not they would watch longer forms of content, such as a full length movie. This number represents an increase from the 57% figure reported in the 2008 survey
  • Of those watching mobile TV and video, 45% have spent 11 to 30 minutes watching a TV show or movie on their mobile phone with 30 % having spent 31 minutes or longer doing so. Additionally, 21% are using mobile TV and video services more than once a week