We’re using our phones less for entertainment and more for search and shopping, says latest research
15th May 2013
Mobile phones continue to offer consumers more and more options. The content usage trends of how consumers are using their mobile have important implications for brands and public relations professionals. The mobile phone is an entertainment gadget, a multi-media communication tool and an easy way to shop. As they change, so do the ways consumers use them, and the March 2013 third wave of the annual fast.MAP Mobile Phone Use Tracking Study shows that the use of various entertainment tools peaked in 2012 and is now in decline.
Have you done any of the following on your mobile phone or handheld device?
According to the study, the following uses of mobiles are less prevalent now than in 2011:
- Downloading video/games/music.
- Reading and responding to emails.
- Listening to live radio and music.
- Playing games.
- Accessing augmented-reality technology.
Simultaneously, the use of sourcing and shopping tools has increased year-on-year, including:
- Scanning barcodes and images to gain further product information.
- Watching video and recorded TV and films.
- Viewing TV or video ads.
- Seeking product information via search engines.
- Buying online.
- Finding online offers and deals.
Discussing the findings, David Cole, MD of online research company fast.MAP says, “Enthusiasm for new developments in hardware and apps eventually settles down into two groups: applications which are depended upon as everyday sourcing and cost-cutting aids; and those which are gradually abandoned as the novelty wares off.
“No matter what type of mobile or smart-phone people own – apart from conversations and texts – they are most likely to use it for one of the following five things: reading emails, 44 per cent; responding to emails, 33 per cent; playing games, 32 per cent; listening to music, 30 per cent; and accessing product and service information via a search engine, 29 per cent.
“A third of those without smartphones use their mobiles to access ads or marketing communications; and 21 per cent and 20 per cent respectively do so to play games and listen to emails. And mobile owners are increasingly using other services such as reading books, listening to radio and music; responding to emails and looking for retailer and brand offers.”
The latest fast.MAP study tracks changes in mobile usage since the initial research in June 2011 and second wave in July 2012, using a demographically-balanced fast.MAP panel of 1,226 adults.