Thursday, March 12, 2009

New stats from Bango

According to a press release I got from Bango today, the USA has knocked the UK off the top slot for mobile web browsing with 29% of the worldwide traffic, according to data released today by Bango. And the good news for content providers is that the growth in traffic is being matched by the growth in users paying for content on the mobile web.

“With 245 million subscribers, it was only a matter of time before the US became the number 1 country in the world for mobile web browsing,” said Anil Malhotra, SVP of Marketing at Bango. “When it comes to payments though, the US is accelerating faster than any other country and now accounts for 57% of payments worldwide.”

The statistics also show that while some countries such as India and Indonesia have a good appetite for browsing on their mobiles, it doesn’t always convert into purchases. In fact, only five countries in the Top 10 browsing chart are also in the Top 10 payments chart – USA, UK, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. All worth noting if you’re in the business of selling mobile content.

No matter how high the browsing rate, it is only converted into a high purchase rate where people have a good disposable income and can pay for content on their phone bills. In regions such as India, South Africa, Indonesia and Egypt the driver for mobile browsing is a lack of fixed-line broadband and PCs for accessing the internet which means that the mobile device is the only way people can get onto the internet. Which begs the question as to how this activity can be monetised. What advertising works in these markets and does the ad-funded model stack up economically?

The press release goes on…

“Many people simply have no idea that they have visitors from mobile devices accessing their PC website - these mobile visitors are simply invisible to them,” continued Malhotra. “Part of the problem is lack of awareness and to help, we have created a short video at which explains how you can get a good grasp of how much mobile traffic you have.” And to save you the trouble of heading there to see it, you can see it here.

The February Bango statistics identified mobile web browsers from a total of 208 different countries and using 1,811 different handsets. View a sample of the mobile traffic going through the Bango system at (this is pretty cool actually to see the real live traffic. Admob does something similar.)

Food for thought.

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