No Surprise! Google Takes Early Lead

M:Metrics – consumer consumption yardstick – has released the April 2007 rankings (based on Percentage of Active Reach) of the top mobile Web destinations (aggregated across company owned domains) among Smartphone users in the US…

  • Google (62.48 percent)
  • Yahoo (33.54 percent)
  • Microsoft (33.36 percent)
  • AT&T* (21.22 percent)
  • Time Warner (19.06 percent)
  • Disney (17.00 percent)
  • MySpace/FOX – News Corp (15.54 percent)
  • Sprint Nextel* (15.29 percent)
  • Weather Channel (15.28 percent)
  • eBay (14.19 percent)

and in the UK…

  • Google (30.94 percent)
  • Orange (21.68 percent)
  • BBC (20.90 percent)
  • Microsoft (17.75 percent)
  • Vodafone* (16.79 percent)
  • eBay (13.08 percent)
  • O2* (12.77 percent)
  • 3* (12.67 percent)
  • Yahoo (10.97 percent)
  • T-Mobile* (10.71 percent)

* mobile operators

Opera Mini 4 Steals iPhone Thunder

Opera has released a beta version, codenamed Dimension, of Mini 4.0 – the company’s mobile browser – bringing the iPhone’s surf and zoom facility (overview mode) to any handset!

Opera Mini 4 - Overview Mode

With a few other goodies thrown in – fuller CSS compatibility and faster (more economical) page loading – both existing users and new alike will be tempted. Check out the demo here.

According to the press release more than 15 million handsets already have the Opera browser installed. Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, thanked the mobile community in advance of the 4.0 beta feedback:

Opera Mini has succeeded only due to the support of the people who have made it the most popular mobile browser available today

Broadsheets To Leverage Text Messaging

USA TODAY is to print short code numbers that readers can text message to access real-time news, whilst the Financial Times will run an in-store poster campaign across 1,250 retail outlets offering cash vouchers in reply to a text response.

Matt Jones, director of mobile strategy at Gannett Digital, a unit of USA TODAY’s parent company, confirms:

a lot of marketers are thinking of how they can best leverage mobile phone users

The US broadsheet publisher will combine a mobile search platform with standard-rate text messaging in an effort to provide up-to-the-minute news on the go – including sports scores, weather forecasts and stock quotes.

Mobile is basically a downstream distribution point for all of the national and local content we produce… We want to make our news and information available to consumers in the format that they choose.

Jobs More Than Teasing Mobile Developers

In his opening keynote at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday (June 11), Steve Jobs teased open the Web 2.0 door to mobile developers (with the safety chain well and truly left on!), revealing a slim ray of light from Apple’s impending smartphone sunrise on June 29, by announcing that mobile developers will be part of the success story.

Apple has been criticized by the mobile development community for refusing third-party access to the iPhone – unlike Windows Mobile from Microsoft, which provides application programming interfaces to developers – arguing that the best strategy to maintain security and high performance is to keep tight control over the iPhone’s OS.

But moments later Jobs halts the door from swinging wide open – confirming Apple’s strategy for third-party software on the smartphone will be based mainly on Apple’s Safari Web Browser and not so much on its native operating system.

Mobile Metering To Follow ?

Nielsen, the king of audience measurement and the company Search Marketers have come to be autonomous with Search Share Rankings, have split their initiative Nielsen Wireless away from its sister service Nielsen Games in an effort to push forward the tracking of mobile phone users beyond media measurement – in particular to investigate the usage of mobile content services.

Mobile Vector, the venture’s first product, will segment existing TV metering by wireless carrier using ‘in the home’ media behaviour. The objective will be to give brands and agencies insights that were previously unavailable. (Full report expected July 2007)

Interesting information is already emerging – including viewing preferences:

  • more than half of primary users of video-enabled mobile phones lived in households with total incomes of $75,000 or above

Mobile Search Fueling US Growth

Mobile technology bridge, Bango, claims that it can provide a unique insight into mobile web usage – measuring the number of user visits to mobile websites from each country.

Latest statistics show a three-fold increase in usage across the US during the last 12 months. Interestingly Bango have indicated that this is a direct result of users hunting down new content and services using mobile search platforms. By April 2007 over 20% of US mobile users were accessing the web – rapidly catching the UK at 27% and overtaking South Africa and India.

Anil Malhotra, SVP of Marketing at Bango, confirms that flat-rate data charges will also play a major role in the growth of mobile web usage.

Where Next for Mobile Music?

By Paul Bennett

According to a study conducted in February 2007 by Arbitron/Telephia nearly 90% of mobile audio listeners think that advertising is “a fair price to pay” for free or subsidized content.

eMarketer has used the ‘Mobile Audio Media Study’ as part of a new report to investigate key questions like the potential size of the mobile music opportunity and the potential wild cards that marketers need to understand.
Senior Analyst, John du Pre Gauntt says,

“… a surprising level of receptivity to ad-supported content make(s) it difficult to declare the precise direction of (the) mobile music market.”

The report entitled ‘Mobile Music: Mixing It Up‘ also discusses mobile music sponsorship and how it could meet the music industry’s overall need for recording revenue alternatives.