Mobile Content, Application Use Rising

According to data released this past week by M:Metrics, consumers used 3 percent more mobile content and applications in the quarter ending Feb 28, 2005 than in the same period a year ago. Mobile gaming showed the highest growth.

The report, based on nationally representative samples of mobile phone consumers, shows an estimated 6.2 million users downloaded a mobile game in the quarter ending February 28, an increase of 8.2 percent over the previous quarter. Text messaging (sending and receiving) is the most utilized mobile content service with an estimated 65.7 million users, though growth was relatively flat at one percent.

Other growing categories are photo messaging, which increased 3.9 percent; and mobile instant messaging, which grew 5.2 percent to a projected reach of 15.4 million users (8.8 percent growth). AOL’s Instant Messenger (AIM) is the most popular mobile IM client with a 46 percent share. Yahoo IM ranks second at 30 percent, and MSN third at 21 percent.

Himesh Bhise, VP and GM of AOL Mobile, agrees his company’s service is ahead of its competitors in mobile IM. “AOL has seen great increases in the number of mobile AIM users,” Bhise told ClickZ Stats. “We have seen 100 percent growth year over year for the past two years. We have monthly double digit increases in the number of users.”


U.S. Mobile Subscriber Consumption of Content and Applications, February 2005
Projected Monthly Reach (000s) Percent Percent Change
Downloaded mobile game 6,232 3.5 8.2
Received text message alert 15,424 8.8 5.7
Used mobile instant messenger 15,438 8.8 5.2
Sent photo message to phone or email 12,244 7.0 3.9
Downloaded ringtone 23,097 13.1 3.0
Accessed news and information via browser 22,628 12.9 2.5
Sent or received text message 65,680 37.3 1.0
Source: M:Metrics Inc., 2005

A recent In-Stat report sheds some light on consumer attitudes regarding features that may become available on mobile phones in the future. WiFi for voice and data was of interest to over 4 out 10 respondents. Wireless phones capable of receive TV broadcasts was of interest to only 12 percent of survey respondents.

M:Metrics projects content and application growth decellerate, though long term prospects are good.

“What you’ll see is flattening in growth for the next month in games, and maybe even a slight decline as we get into future months. It’s a seasonal thing,” Seamus McAteer, an M:Metrics senior analyst, told ClickZ. “Overall its still a pretty robust and healthy market, and over the long term we’re seeing nice growth year over year.”

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