More than half of mobile users in U.S. own a smartphone, finds Nielsen

Monday, May 7, 2012 - 11:35am

SmartphonesWell we knew this milestone was coming (RAIN coverage here) and now it's arrived. Nielsen says 50.4% of mobile users in the U.S. own a smartphone, "making dumbphones the minority for the first time," writes Engadget.

So now a (slim) majority of cellphone-toting folks in the U.S. potentially have the ability to stream Internet radio on the go. Indeed, the smartphone market is pretty much divided between the app-friendly platforms of Google's Android (claiming 48.5% of smartphone users) and Apple's iOS (32%). "Other platforms trailed well behind," reports Engadget, which has more coverage here.

Mobile, in-app ads poised for big growth this year according to new forecast

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 12:20pm

Mobile advertisingGlobal mobile advertising and content will generate $67 billion in 2012, according to a new forecast from Stategy Analytics.

In fact, the company predicts in-app ad sales in the U.S. and western Europe will overtake mobile web display sales. Mobile ad spending will grow 85.4% this year. Meanwhile, app downloads will grow 38% (reaching 23 billion) and app spending will grow over 30% ($26.1 billion). has more coverage here.


Studies: Hispanics leading mobile usage growth, smartphone ownership, web radio listening

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 12:20pm

MobileHispanics are one of the leading demographics in terms of mobile usage, smartphone penetration and web radio listening, according to a new round of studies.

Nielsen found that Hispanics "outpace all other ethnic groups in mobile downloads of music and photos" and are "heavy phone users in general." The demo is 25% more likely to follow a brand online, Nielsen says, and is more likely to consume mobile multimedia.

Meanwhile, eMarketer found that around 43% of Hispanics own a smartphone in 2012 (compared to the overall rate of 36.6%). The company predicts nearly 63% will own a smartphone by 2016.

As we reported last week, The Media Audit found that more than 25% of Hispanics had listened to Internet radio in the past 7 days (RAIN coverage here). That outpaces the overall adult 18+ rate of under 20%.

Interestingly, The Media Audit also found that web radio is popular amongst cellphone-only consumers. And Nielsen found that Hispanics are less likely to have a home broadband connection than the average U.S. consumer (62% compared to 76%).

"If you’re building a mobile app or service -- especially a social or entertainment-focused service," writes TechCrunch, "you would be lucky to have a group that’s as engaged as this one is to tap into."

You can find more on Nielsen's research here and more from eMarketer here.

Arbitron mobile analytics initial findings: Pandora among top 5 apps

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 12:45pm

Arbitron mobileArbitron has launched a mobile measurement service and already found that Pandora is among the top 5 most popular apps.

The new Arbitron Mobile Trends Panel uses an "on-device software meter" to track "how mobile consumers use apps, surf the web, engage in social media, participate in e-commerce, are exposed to and act on advertising, and employ their device to communicate," said Arbitron.

The Panel is made up of about 6,000 smartphone and tablet users. Recruitment began in November 2011, said Arbitron.

Results from Q1 2012 show that Facebook, Google Search, YouTube, Pandora and Yahoo Mail make up the top 5 apps. Facebook, the most popular smartphone app, has a monthly reach of 65%. Arbitron found that app usage is growing faster than web browsing.

Arbitron's announcement arrives at about the same time as a new report from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), which found that mobile advertising grew 149% in 2011 to reach $1.6 billion. Internet ad revenue overall grew 22% to $31 billion -- "a landmark high," commented the IAB.

You can find more from Arbitron here and more on the IAB's new report here.

Forrester: One billion smartphone-equipped consumers by 2016

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 11:40am

mobile devices

In four years, one billion consumers around the world will own a smartphone, according to Forrester Research. In the U.S., consumers will own 257 million smartphones and 126 million tablets by 2016.

Forrester projects that by 2015, $1.3 trillion will be spent on mobile devices, software and services related to mobile. App revenue alone? $55 billion.

Time has more coverage here.

Arbitron, Edison report "largest year-over-year jump" in weekly Net radio usage they've yet seen

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 11:40am

Two weeks ago Edison Research and Arbitron announced they'd found weekly Internet radio listening grew 30% during 2011 (see our coverage here), and that 29% of 12+ Americans (76 million) now listen to Internet radio weekly, for an average of almost ten hours a week. Yesterday the companies officially released the study from which that finding comes, "The Infinite Dial 2012: Navigating Digital Platforms."

"We’ve been tracking the usage of online radio in this series since 1998, and this year’s increase in weekly usage is the largest year-over-year jump we’ve ever recorded," said Bill Rose, Arbitron SVP/Marketing.  Edison Research VP/Strategy and Marketing Tom Webster added "The jump in weekly online radio usage is remarkable, but really a trailing variable to the rise in smartphone penetration, which has enabled much of that growth."

As always (this is the 20th edition of the study), the researchers looked at cellphone/smartphone penetration and use, other portable digital media devices, overall Internet usage, online video, and social media. 

A few points of interest to the Internet radio industry:

  • 39% of Americans 12+ (103 million) have listened to Internet radio in the last month.
  • 17% of cell phone owners report listening to Internet radio in their cars by connecting their phones to their car stereo, a 50% increase in the past year.
  • Smartphone ownership has tripled in the last two years. 44% of all 12+ Americans own a smartphone, which is half of all cell phone owners.
  • A third of at-work radio listening is done on a computer or mobile device. 12% of smartphone owners listen to online radio "several times per day" or more.
  • "Heavy" Internet and radio users are more likely to be employed full-time.

Read more from Edison Research and Arbitron here, and see all the research presentation slides here.

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