Barcelona, 16 February 2009 : BuzzCity (www.buzzcity.com), a provider of global wireless communities and consumer services, today revealed the results of worldwide research conducted across their mobile advertising network. The research divulges when, how and why people use the mobile internet, as well as identifying global user demographics and activity patterns. The survey was conducted in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, amongst users of the 2,000 mobile publisher sites that form BuzzCity's mobile advertising network.
How users access mobile internet services
It may surprise those in the telecommunications industry to know that less than six percent use the mobile internet when travelling or when outdoors, contrary to the common belief that mobile internet is a tool to be accessed 'on the move'. Most of the users surveyed (70 percent) surf the mobile internet from home, while over one in ten (11 percent) browse while at work. KF Lai, CEO of BuzzCity, comments: "The mobile phone has become the medium of choice for 'unwired' consumers who do not access the internet via a PC, proving that consumption of the mobile internet is not necessarily connected to mobility."
Users tend to access the mobile internet regularly and often, with 87 percent accessing the mobile internet more than once daily and more than half accessing it over five times a day. Most users, (81 percent) surf for more than 15 minutes in one session, and this tends to be in the evening, with 36 percent logging on after their evening meal. Around half of those surveyed (45 percent) access the mobile internet from a Nokia device.
Why users access mobile internet services
Typically, users access the mobile internet to communicate with friends through online tools like chat, blogs and discussion groups, with 60 percent citing this as their main activity. “As shown in previous research, mobile internet users are still united by a desire to connect with each other. And instead of a computer, more and more of them they are choosing to do this via the most personal of devices, their mobile phone”, said KF Lai.
Meanwhile, 16 percent use the mobile internet for entertainment purposes and 10 percent use it to surf for information. Demand for m-commerce continues to rise, and users are increasingly looking towards their mobile phones as vehicles to access financial services (13 per cent wish to affect remittances, transfers and loans via mobile). Lai says: “Mobile surfers clearly want to do more with their mobiles, particularly when it comes to transactional services”. More than a third of users (34 percent) would like to use their mobile to top up credit, and the same number again desire the ability to pay for bills (transport, bar or restaurant tabs, groceries, and parking tickets). One in five users also specifies items for use in online games as potential purchases.
Who uses the mobile internet?
BuzzCity’s typical mobile consumer is a twenty-something male with an annual income that places him in the “bottom of the pyramid”. He may, however, be a socially mobile creature, with 30 percent of those surveyed in full-time education, and a further one in five (22 percent) a freelancer or small business owner.
KF Lai says: “The increasing number of small business owners, often touted as a nation’s economic backbone, is extremely encouraging. A stable and affordable mobile web may well prove a key element in promoting business relations amongst this group of users who are likely to rely on access to the mobile internet to conduct business transactions once reliable services become available”.
Regardless of income bracket, users have enough disposable income to purchase electronic and virtual goods. Overall, users also express a keen interest in digital technology. One quarter intend to buy a games console, and 18 percent expect to buy a home entertainment system in the next 12 months. Significantly, 13 percent expect to buy a smartphone, which may be indicative of the rising number of users looking to enhance their mobile surfing experience and even conduct business via the mobile internet.
This research conducted by BuzzCity provides a global snapshot of not only how consumers and business users alike are using mobile internet services today but also how they would like to utilize the mobile internet in the future.
"Like in previous research conducted by BuzzCity, these results confirm that consumers' mobile internet habits display similar traits around the world. The majority of users are primarily seeking to communicate and share information with friends or business associates, re-affirming the use of the mobile phone as a social networking tool, and providing unprecedented opportunities for publishers and advertisers wishing to reach new groups of users", says KF Lai.
"The mobile internet also offers significant opportunities for merchants, especially small business owners who can both communicate with partners and potentially sell their services via the medium. Our survey shows that mobile payments are in high demand, but this is an area that retail banks and mobile operators still need to explore further." concludes Lai.
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Notes to editors
BuzzCity launched her mobile advertising network in late 2006 and has been tracking its growth since then. By 2008 the network comprises more than 2,000 mobile publisher sites in various categories; community sites, entertainment, downloads, news, info, etc.
Over the past twelve months, the BuzzCity Mobile Advertising Network has grown by more than three hundred percent. In 2008, it served 19.5 billion ads across thousands of publisher sites in more than 100 countries, and it had became necessary to see if established usage patterns still remained or had changed with the influx of new users to the network.
Where previous surveys were conducted on myGamma only, this survey included all other publisher sites on the BuzzCity advertising network.
Catriona Biggart / Claudia Bate
Tel: +44 (20) 7608 4650
Email: buzzcity (at) skywritecomms.com
BuzzCity is a developer of global wireless communities and consumer services. Established in 1999 in Singapore, BuzzCity today operates the world’s leading wireless community - mygamma.com - for two distinct audiences: the newly connected emerging middle class in developing markets and the blue collar sector in developed regions. These "unwired" consumers, are accessing the mobile Internet on their phones due to widespread and affordable wireless access.
BuzzCity provides marketers with unprecedented opportunities to reach this audience via its far-reaching advertising, merchant and publisher programs. Additional information can be found at www.buzzcity.com.