Report: Mobile Users Accessing Business Directories Jump, Represent Most Attractive Customers
As one might assume, local business directories are benefiting greatly from the mobile boom. In March, the number of mobile subscribers accessing business directories via mobile phone increased 14% year-over-year to 17.3 million users, according to new research conducted by comScore and released on Thursday by the Yellow Pages Association.
The increase even outpaced the 10% growth in the number of mobile media users who browsed the mobile Web, used applications or downloaded content during the same time period.
"Mobile offers significant opportunity, both for consumers who need convenient and reliable sources of local information on-the-go, and also for local search providers that are making this content available in new and innovative ways," said Neg Norton, president of the Yellow Pages Association.
Mobile browser was the most common access method for users, with 10.8 million subscribers in March 2010, and 21% year-over-year growth.
But even as the browser remained the most used mobile feature for access, apps grew at a more rapid pace with 42% year-over-year growth -- totaling 4.1 million subscribers in March.
ComScore also found that mobile media attracts a highly desirable consumer segment for advertisers. Indeed, mobile usage of business directories unlocks a younger, wealthier user base.
According to the report, 58% of mobile media users are 34 or younger, while, over half have a household income in excess of $75,000.
In March, the number of people accessing business directories on a mobile device at least once per week increased more than 16% year-over-year to nearly five million.
Mobile users also access content that is attractive for many advertisers, comScore found. Mobile users who access business directories are three and a half times more likely as the average mobile media user to access women's magazine content, health information, real estate listings, and job listings via their mobile devices.
Meanwhile, as local mobile grew by double digits, local searches on personal computers saw single-digit growth year-over-year. Searches on Internet Yellow Pages and portal sites increased 4% to 444 million in March 2010, or 5.3 billion annually.
The overall universe of core web search -- where users search for any kind of information on a major Internet search portal like Google or Bing -- increased 8% to 15.4 billion searches in March, or 187.3 billion annually.