Devouring Mobile Content: The Feast Continues

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Figures on mobile content usage in the United States during the three-month period of March, April, and May 2010 show that the expansion of all forms of content consumption continues unabated. The percentage change may be small in some cases, but each type of use that is tracked by comScore’s MobiLens increased in percentage from the figures covering the three month period ended in February 2010.

The MobiLens study covers the share of the market by mobile OEM and the market share of the different makers of smartphones. The one significant change in these figures is a 4% increase in Google Android. The next three month period will include the impact of the iPhone’s new version, which came too late to be included in this set of figures. Overall, smartphone ownership increased 8.1% over the previous period.

Of the types of activities that can be done via mobile devices, the largest increase was in accessing social networking sites or blogs, at 20.8%, up 2.6% from the period ending in February. Using a browser was close behind, with a 2.3% increase, and using downloaded apps at 2.1%. More ordinary types of activities, such as sending text messages to another phone (1.4%), listening to music (1.2%), and playing games (0.7%) follow, with smaller rates of increase of use.

In all, not much earth-shattering is revealed by this set of figures, but they do show the continued steady increase in the use of smartphone features and capabilities. When one looks a little further back in time, it’s possible to see which capabilities are the ones whose use has grown fastest. Looking at results from the same study covering the three month period ended September 2009, here are the changes for each of the type of activity tracked (May 2010 figure vs. September 2009):

Sent text message to another phone – increase of 4.2%
Used browser – increase of 5.9%
Used downloaded apps – increase of 13.3%
Played games – increase of 1.1%
Accessed social networking site or blog – increase of 7.0%
Listened to music on mobile phone – increase of 2.6%

It’s clear that the activity that is growing in most popularity with the smartphone is the use of downloaded applications. Not too surprising, considering that apps combine utility and ease of use, are inexpensive, and have a viral aspect to them. Accessing social networking sites/blogs is also quickly increasing in use, up more even than using a browser itself.

About the Author

Frances Krug has worked in market research since graduating from UCLA with an MA and CPhil in Latin American history. As an editor and online content provider for the last 7 years, she currently is Associate Editor at iNET Interactive, where she also directs Search Marketing Standard's email marketing program.

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