Surge in Non-voice Communications, Driven by Smartphone Proliferation
Published on: 1st Jan 1970: 1:33am
Among adult U.S. mobile consumers surveyed in October, 18.5 percent searched the Internet for products or services in their local area, up from 15.6 percent in 2008, and 16.7 percent connected with a social network such as MySpace or Facebook, up from 9.6 percent in 2008. The survey was carried out by BIA/Kelsey with research partner ConStat.
"This third wave of our Mobile Market View study confirms several key trends taking shape in the rapidly evolving mobile advertising space," said Steve Marshall, director of research and consulting, BIA/Kelsey. "Not the least among these trends is that mobile is quickly developing into a viable platform for local commercial activity."
The study also reveals a growing class of "heavy users" of non-voice modalities. For example, the percentage of users making more than 10 mobile Internet accesses per week continues to increase significantly, now representing over one-fifth of all mobile users.
Among mobile users:
- 48.2 percent sent or received more than 10 text (SMS) messages per week
- 21 percent had more than 10 Internet accesses per week
- 20 percent sent or received more than 10 e-mails per week
Mobile Local Advertising and Commerce
Mobile Market View also indicates use of mobile devices for commercial searches increased across the board in 2009. Of particular interest, searches for local products or services now exceed out-of-market searches by a wide margin. Among consumers using mobile devices:
- 18.5 percent searched the Internet for local products or services
- 15.9 percent obtained information about movies or other entertainment
- 13.3 percent obtained information about restaurants or bars
- 11.1 percent searched the Internet for products or services outside their local area
- 4 percent purchased a physical item that needed to be shipped (e.g., a book)
- 3 percent used a coupon from their mobile phone
In addition to consumer smartphone adoption, recent developments in the mobile marketplace--mobile-optimized Web sites, the rapid evolution and implementation of Google's Android OS, and its planned acquisition of mobile ad network AdMob--will drive mobile Internet use and advertising growth.
"Google is clearly interested in replicating its online dominance by positioning itself at the mobile OS level, and around the content that users increasingly consume on smartphones," said Michael Boland, program director, Mobile Local Media, BIA/Kelsey. "Its brand affinity among users and one-stop-shop approach for advertisers will accelerate the shift of dollars spent on mobile advertising in the coming months."
The survey also reveals usage of mobile devices for viewing or sending video has increased appreciably, with the highest level of traffic in user-generated videos. Among those surveyed for Mobile Market View, 7.9 percent watched or purchased a TV program or segment, 11.7 percent watched or purchased a music video or Internet video and 17.7 percent sent or received videos.
"Between waves one and three of Mobile Market View, consumers have basically doubled their use of the mobile platform for non-voice communications," said Rick Ducey, chief strategy officer, BIA/Kelsey. "This represents a fundamental and rapid shift in media use, which needs to be considered in determining the appropriate mix and spending levels among local platforms. Media companies that do not currently offer a differentiated mobile advertising option had better get there quickly."