Mobile Users Will Take a Few Ads

Mobile phone users may be receptive to relevant advertising, if done correctly. That’s according to a report called “Mobile Advertising, Brands and Affinity Marketing” from research firm In-Stat.

About 20 percent of mobile users surveyed said they would be receptive to some form of advertising on their mobile handsets. Half from that group would be receptive if the advertisements subsidized premium services like directory assistance, ring tones and messaging.

Apparently understanding the trade-off of ads for services, over a third of respondents also said they would also be willing to provide advertisers some personal information.

“[Respondents] did seem to understand the tradeoffs [of giving information in exchange for free services] because they were vehemently against any intrusive or unsolicited messages of any sort.” David Chamberlain, senior analyst at In-Stat, told ClickZ Stats. “In fact, this survey generated by far the largest number of comments that we have ever seen. People HATE the idea of unsolicited ads, which made the acceptance of opt-in advertising even more remarkable.”

A recent Telephia report supports the idea that mobile users most frequently access basic information like email, weather, sports scores and driving directions, while shunning premium programs offered by wireless carriers for a fee.

In-Stat says 40 percent of mobile users pay for non-voice communication services such as text messaging, picture messaging and mobile email as part of their wireless phone service, yet nearly a third of mobile users say high prices keep them from accessing premium services.

“I think that mobile advertising will have to find its own level as mobile customers determine what and what is not acceptable to them,” said Chamberlain. “Ultimately advertising will become more commonplace on mobile handsets, especially as they become the source of more entertainment content.”

The In-Stat Mobile Advertising, Brands and Affinity Marketing report includes results from a June 2005 survey of mobile phone users concerning their use of, and willingness to accept, mobile advertising and advertising-supported premium services.

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