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An International Look at Mobile Advertising

The Microsoft Mobile Advertising Consumer & Insight Study is a new series of reports that compares mobile ad insights and responses across three different countries, US, UK and France.

The study notes that people in all three countries spend around 10 hours a week using their mobile phones for something other than calling or texting. They then looked at pre-purchase behavior and here’s what they got:

After reviewing the information, 40% of those in France used their mobile phone to purchase an item, as did 39% of US users and 34% in the UK.

After purchase, the US was slightly ahead in using their mobile phone to check order status and to share product info with others. France came in lowest on the sharing poll, so apparently they like to shop but prefer to keep their treasures to themselves.

Connected Device, iPad Impressions Continue to Rise

It’s time for the Millennial Media MobileMix for May. Say that three times fast.

This month, they added connected devices to the mix and found out that 70% of all impressions are coming from portable video gaming devices and MP3 players. Tablets got 29% of the pie, items such as ebook readers and connected TVs ate up the rest.

Music also helped push “Entertainment & Music” into the number one spot on the chart for Top 10 Mobile Application Categories. That category showed growth of 14%. Games came in second, followed by Mocial, Communications and our old friend Weather. Travel moved up 33% thanks to folks planning their summer vacations.

Apple is responsible for 45% of the applications in the atmosphere, but Android is running a close second with 43%.

Mobile Social Media Up Nearly Fifty Percent in Past Year

Mobile social networking, or mocial, is when you use your phone to access Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare or any other social networking site. People have been doing it for a couple of years, but now that smartphones and social media apps are so prevalent, it’s become one of the most popular categories in mobile usage.

The chart comes from a webinar delivered by comScore titled ‘The State of the U.S. Mobile Advertising Industry and What Lies Ahead” The bars show usage comparisons between March 2010 and March 2011. At a quick glance, you can see that every category showed growth, with social networking and map usage on mobile up nearly 50%. Weather and news of all kinds grew in the 30% – 40% range. Even IMing got a double digit boost.

Apple Loosens the Reins on Digital Subscription Sales

Earlier this year, Apple launched a program that allowed digital magazine publishers to easily sell subscriptions through iTunes. Unfortunately, the deal came with some hefty restrictions that made it hard for small publishers to make a profit. Now, Apple has decided to relax the rules and in turn, will probably make more money than ever.

The original rule required publishers who used iPad or iPhone apps to sell their subscriptions through the app, giving Apple a 30% cut. Under the new rules, this is no longer a requirement.

Even harsher was a requirement stating that publishers who did sell through iTunes, couldn’t offer a cheaper alternative anywhere else, including their own websites. The new rules allow publishers to set the price points any way they see fit.

MTV Study Says 83% of Users Are Addicted to Apps

What would you give up in order to keep your favorite phone apps? Coffee? Chocolate? Lunch? That’s one of the questions MTV asked as part of their new study, “Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em: Adoption, Abandonment and the App-Addled Consumer.”

They began with 1,300 self-reported daily mobile app users and added in a bunch of interviews with app consumers and found that people were pretty hardcore in their belief that apps have changed their lives.

83% of people in the study said they were addicted to apps and one (someone who is my kindred spirit) said “apps are like Xanax in a phone.”

Meebo Launches New Web Check-In Service

You can check-in to your favorite restaurant, retail store and even your friend’s house. Now, Meebo wants you to check-in to your favorite websites in return for VIP status, discounts and more.

Meebo is the company that makes that sharing bar you see at the bottom of many sites. The bar can be customized to show recent activity, offer chat options and present promotional campaigns.  The new bar, which launches later this week, has the ability to reward users who visit a site multiple times.

The new widget uses a “super secret algorithm” to determine if a person is a VIP visitor. If so, the widget pops up in the bottom corner with a discount or link to special content.

Application Downloads Continue to Rise

Have you built a mobile app to promote your business yet? If not, add that to the To Do list for June, because according to the latest MilennialMedia S.M.A.R.T. report, application downloads are still on the rise.

Application downloads popped up 26% month-over-month with entertainment, retail and travel being the major users. Mobile Social Media (aka Mocial) is also on the rise with marketers looking to up their Facebook and Twitter followers.

Looking only at mobile retail, the report says that mCommerce doubled month-over-month, and Mocial grew 115% in that same time period.

Need some mobile app inspiration? Check out 5 Crazy Things You Can Do With Your iPhone and before the next full moon, download the Werewolf Locator app. You’ll be glad you did.