Friday, October 08, 2010

comScore: Comparative Report on Mobile Usage in Japan, United States and Europe

Japan Mobile Audience “Most Connected” with 3 of 4 Users Accessing Mobile Media in June 2010. Social Networking Shows Highest Reach among U.S. Mobile Users, While Europeans Text the Most.

comScore’s latest report from its MobiLens service examined multiple dimensions of mobile usage between Japan, US and Europe including content consumption, demographic comparisons and top social networking brands across markets to provide a comparative look at how consumers interact with mobile media across various geographic markets.

“Mobile media usage continues to accelerate across the globe, driven by advancing technologies and the growing number of content options available to consumers,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “As we look across markets, dramatic differences in mobile media consumption, brand adoption and user behaviour become evident. These differences are even more pronounced than they are for PC-based Internet usage due to the complex nature of mobile – including various device capabilities, operating systems and methods of accessing content. For brands seeking to establish a multi-market presence, understanding usage dynamics across geographies is essential to implementing a successful global mobile marketing strategy.”

Mobile Behaviour Varies Across Markets

A cross-market analysis of mobile activities in Japan, the U.S. and Europe revealed significant differences among consumers by geography. Mobile users in Japan were the “most connected” of the three markets, with more than 75 percent using connected media (browsed, accessed applications or downloaded content) in June, compared to 43.7 percent in the U.S. and 38.5 percent in Europe. (I’m wondering what the range is across the different European countries. And I wonder if this would be further skewed if it was beyond the EU5 of UK, Spain, France, Germany and Italy.)

Japanese mobile users also displayed the strongest usage of both applications and browsers with 59.3 percent of the entire mobile population accessing their browsers in June and 42.3 percent accessing applications. Comparatively 34.0 percent of mobile users in the U.S. and 25.8 percent in Europe used their mobile browsers, with 31.1 percent in the U.S. and 24.9 percent in Europe accessing applications.

Messaging methods also varied with Europeans displaying the strongest use of text messaging with 81.7 percent sending a text message in June, compared to 66.8 percent in the U.S. and just 40.1 percent in Japan. Japanese users exhibited the highest reach in the email category at 54 percent, while consumers in the U.S. were most likely to use instant messaging services on their mobile (17.2 percent). (With the introduction of i-mode in Japan, peer to peer messaging was based on email rather than SMS so these figures are not the least bit surprising. Europe was the first to adopt SMS and the US was pretty late to the game to implement cross network compatibility for SMS, hence the lower figures.)

Social networking/blogs reached the greatest percentage of mobile users in the U.S. at 21.3 percent, followed by Japan at 17.0 percent and Europe at 14.7 percent. Japanese users were most likely to capture photos (63.0 percent) and watch TV/video (22.0 percent) on their mobiles, while Europeans were most likely to listen to music (24.2 percent) and play games (24.1 percent).

Select Mobile Behaviours in Japan, United States and EU5 (UK, DE, FR, ES and IT). June 2010.
Total Mobile Audience Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Percent of Total Mobile AudienceJapanUSEurope
Total Audience: 13+ yrs old100%100%100%
Used connected media
(Browsed, Accessed Applications
or Downloaded Content
Used browser59.3%34.0%25.8%
Used application42.3%31.1% 24.9%
Messaging Usage
Sent text message to another phone40.1% 66.8% 81.7%
Used instant messaging service3.3% 17.2%12.6%
Used email (work or personal)54.0% 27.9% 18.8%
Social Media/Entertainment
Accessed Social Networking Site/ Blog17.0%21.3%14.7%
Listened to music on mobile phone12.5% 13.9%24.2%
Took photos63.0% 50.6% 56.8%
Captured video15.4%19.2%25.8%
Watched TV and/or video on mobile22.0%4.8% 5.4%
Played games16.3% 22.5%24.1%
Financial Information
Accessed bank accounts8.0%9.4%7.1%
Accessed financial news/stock quotes16.1%10.0% 7.2%
Accessed online retail 7.2%5.5% 4.1%
Accessed classifieds4.2% 6.6% 4.2%
Accessed travel service3.3%4.7%4.1%
Accessed maps15.7% 16.0%10.8%
Accessed traffic reports 12.6%8.2%5.9%
Accessed weather34.1%22.3% 13.7%

Mobile Media Usage by Demographic Segment

A demographic analysis of mobile media users across markets showed that mobile media consumption was more balanced across age segments in Japan when compared to the U.S. and Europe. In the U.S., 25-34 year olds were 44 percent more likely to access mobile media than an average mobile user, with 18-24 year olds 39 percent more likely. In Europe, 18-24 year olds represented the most-connected segment, 54 percent more likely to be mobile media users, while persons age 25-34 were 35 percent more likely.

The U.S. and Europe also showed greater gender disparity among mobile media audiences. Females were 9 percent less likely to be mobile media users in the U.S., while females in Europe were 16 percent less likely.

Mobile Media Usage in Japan, United States and EU5 (UK, DE, FR, ES and IT) by Demographic Segment. June 2010. Source: comScore MobiLens. Connected Media Audience Index*

Total Audience: 13+ yrs old100%100%100%
Person’s Age:

* Index = % demographic segment / % demographic base*100

Top Mobile Social Media Brands

Across markets, local and global brands showed varying levels of adoption by mobile audiences. In all three markets, the top mobile social media brand mirrored the top PC-based social networking brand with Facebook leading in the U.S. and Europe and Mixi leading in Japan. Local brands Gree and Mobage Town were the #2 and #4 most accessed social networking brands in Japan. Twitter was the only brand to be ranked in the top four in all markets.

Top Mobile Social Networking/Chat/Blog Brands in Japan, United States and EU5 (UK, DE, FR, ES and IT) by Audience Size June 2010.
Total Mobile Audience Age 13+.
Source: comScore MobiLens
TwitterYouTubeMSN /Windows Live/ Bing
Mobage TownTwitterTwitter

Update 11 October 2010: Friend and mobilist, Kei Shimada, who is based in Tokyo commented on the above from comScore and says: "Somehow I very much doubt the outcome of this report. Banking services can't be this high, because of the lack of banking services in Japan on mobile. Much more versatile abroad. Other financial services, I agree somewhat.
Text messaging in Japan at 40.1% is still very high even if its the lowest among the 3 regions, as its almost non-existent because of interoperability issues among carriers, and email being dominant. By the way, email is "free" (included in data plan) in Japan, and not charged like SMS is abroad.
Social Networking Sites can't be this low comparatively, among the (especially) US and EU, with 120+ billion PV per month on the big 3 SNS in Japan.
Japan is the most connected, I agree, but the details are a very odd."

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