Orange today announces "Mobile Exposure 2010", an annual independent study by TNS that measures how mobile media users are engaging with mobile content and the mobile internet.
This year's research, covering mobile media users in the UK, France, Spain and Poland, illustrates the dominance of the browser as people increasingly seek a PC-like experience on their phone. The study also identifies how, when, why and where European mobile media users access content, information and entertainment, giving brands exclusive intelligence from Orange across a range of sectors to help them better engage with their audiences.
The browser versus application battle
Mobile browser use is most prominent in the UK, with 7 out of 10 mobile media users choosing to find information and content in this way, instead of using mobile apps. This is similar in France, where 68 per cent of users favour the browser over 60 per cent who prefer apps. For certain content such as news, 73per cent of female mobile media users in the UK prefer to access the web via browser rather than an application (65per cent for men). In less mature mobile media markets, there is, however, more 'App-etite'; browser versus application usage in Spain is equal at 42 per cent, while only Polish users favour mobile apps (45 per cent) over the mobile internet (39 percent).
58 per cent of UK users want to find the same things on their mobile as on a PC, as do 55per cent of French users, 58per cent in Spain and 72per cent in Poland, suggesting browser popularity is because of its growing ability to offer a familiar Internet experience on mobile. Just as free content on the Internet impacted established media industries, it is convenience of use that most impacts mobile media adoption. What European users most like about mobile media is the quality of navigation (56 per cent), time-saving (51 per cent) and quick access (26 per cent).
Today, cost is a less significant barrier to entry for users in the UK and France (13 and 10 per cent respectively) where the mobile internet is more mature; however, in Poland (41 per cent) and Spain (28 per cent) price is considered more of an issue.
Paul Francois Fournier, Executive Vice President Online and Advertising Business, Orange says: "These findings reflect the current maturity of the individual markets but also provide an insight into future trends for mobile media use. In France and the UK where the mobile internet is more established, there are more optimised sites for phones and the experience is better, encouraging higher browser usage. Although mobile browser use is lower in Spain and Poland, we believe this is a trend to watch as smartphone penetration increases, innovative pricing is adopted and faster networks are deployed."
The impact of mobile media in the digital revolution
Exposure 2010 also shows how mobile media increasingly impacts traditional media consumption. Currently, mobile is negatively impacting print media, with 16 per cent of mobile media users in the UK stating they read fewer magazines and 14 per cent stating they read fewer newspapers; this trend is likely to continue as more consumers use smartphones and tablet devices. Internet use is, however, positively impacted with PC browsing increasing for 25 per cent of respondents and television increasing for 14per cent. As interactive programming increases, television broadcasters have the most to gain from engaging with mobile media users. The data also shows how the mobile plays a role as an extension of PC access to media. 40 per cent of European mobile media users will quickly check info on their mobile, before further investigating the same information when they are back at their PC.
Paul Francois Fournier continues, "Brands and media companies have a clear opportunity to use mobile to further engage with consumers as part of a holistic media mix, whether it is a capturing conversation around a TV show or a retail brand integrating the mobile and online shopping experience with location-based capabilities. By giving advertisers an unequalled level of mobile intelligence and working together, we believe Orange can help brands get the best out of mobile, but in a way that also brings benefits to mobile customers."
Consumer Trust: the rise of m-commerce
Exposure 2010 reveals current attitudes to m-commerce and the future potential for mobile payments. Although price is considered a barrier to mobile media users in Poland, 64 per cent would pay, reserve or redeem something using their mobile in the future. Comparatively 48 per cent of French, 43 per cent of Spanish and 39 per cent of British users would use their mobile in this way.
The study illustrates the importance of trust, both for operators and brands, looking to capitalise on the interest in m-commerce. Women think trust in a brand is more important than men (98 per cent versus 87 per cent). In general though, more than three out of four mobile media users think it is important that the sites they access on their mobile are brands they know and trust (92 per cent UK, 83 per cent France, 87 per cent Spain and 75 per cent for Poland).
Knowing the customer: How, Where, When and Why Europeans access mobile media Exposure 2010 reveals how mobile media habits change when people are in different locations and focused on different activities (e.g. email or social networking), allowing Orange to build and compare a clear country-by-country picture of behavioural shifts. In the UK, mobile media is accessed by 74 per cent of users when they are out and about; when at home 59 per cent use their mobile to search the Internet via browser. This jumps to 70 per cent when users are on the move. In the UK, Spain and Poland, respondents browse for longer on the Internet when they are outside rather than at home, suggesting that as networks continue to improve, browsing on the move will continue to increase. In the UK, at home, the top pursuits are downloading music (82 per cent), games (80 per cent) and accessing social networks (74 per cent).
Exposure 2010 also reveals the information and content that European users are turning to most often. Email use is more dominant than social networks in all four countries, among mobile media users. Video and geo-location services, such as local information pushed to a phone, are also gaining in popularity.