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article imageSurvey: U.S. behind Japan and Europe in mobile usage

By Michael Krebs     Oct 11, 2010 in Technology
In a recent international survey from comScore on mobile usage patterns, users of wireless devices in the United States still trail those of Japan and Europe - with curious differences among the regions studied.
With advertisers and application developers scrambling to monetize the global mobile user community, a new study from the media measurement company comScore sought to shed more light on the opportunities in the mobile universe - particularly with regard to video and rich media consumption.
According to the survey - measuring the June 2010 period - only 4.8 percent of mobile users in the United States accessed video on a mobile device, versus 5.4 percent in Europe and 22 percent in Japan. ComScore also examined overall browsing behaviors and found that 75 percent of Japanese users were actively browsing and retrieving content through mobile gateways, ahead of the 44 percent of American users and 39 percent of European users studied.
The mobile advertising market is expected to explode over the next few years, and the prospects have drawn major technology players - including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Since mobile is an emerging market, little has been known about user behavior and preferences until the broader distribution of applications, video, and broadband access could provide more shape.
The comScore study found that the Japanese were the most connected and accessed more applications daily - whereas European users mostly sent and received text messages. American mobile users followed a broader social media trend that has swept the U.S. market, accessing Facebook and Twitter through mobile devices.
"Mobile media usage continues to accelerate across the globe, driven by advancing technologies and the growing number of content options available to consumers," Mark Donovan, comScore's senior vice president of mobile, said, according to “As we look across markets, dramatic differences in mobile media consumption, brand adoption and user behavior become evident."
Mobile advertising spending in the U.S. market alone is expected to surpass $6.5 billion in 2012, according to eMarketer, so the stakes are high in understanding user behaviors and demographics. The comScore report offers an important step in also understanding the pan-regional differences in mobile consumption.
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