ESPN, G-Mail Popular On Cell Phones
The MobileWeb Metrix service is intended to help media companies better target online investments by analyzing the relationship between mobile and desktop Web usage. It also reflects increasing efforts by research firms to offer clients wider audience information as media platforms proliferate. Earlier this month, Nielsen Media Research and NetRatings unveiled a new database that merged information from their TV and Internet panels into a single product.
"Web publishers want one integrated view of the audience for their Websites across all access modes," said Kanishka Agarwal, vice president of new products at Telephia, which specializes in telecom and mobile research.
As part of the MobileWeb data, Telephia and comScore derived index scores based on a site's reach among mobile users divided by its reach among PC-based Internet users. ESPN, which has a mobile reach of 17.9% compared to a PC reach of 9.4%, ranked second only to AccuWeather on the U.S. mobile-to-PC index with a score of 190.
"Sports is an especially powerful category in mobile, along with weather and news, because they really lend themselves to getting quick snippets of information," said Agarwal. But the demise this fall of ESPN Mobile shows that a high mobile-to-PC ratio doesn't necessarily ensure the success of a premium mobile sports offering.
The search services of Yahoo and Google, by contrast, posted indexes of 25 and 23, respectively, because Web users are more likely to access them from home computers than mobile devices. With an index of 107, Citysearch had nearly the same reach on cell phones as PCs. As these companies build out nascent mobile search services, however, their proportion of mobile users may increase.
Among the four top e-mail services--Yahoo Mail, MSN Hotmail, Gmail and AOL Mail--only Gmail had a higher reach via mobile than PC.
In addition to comparing basic Internet metrics between mobile and PC users such as unique visitors, reach and total minutes per month, the MobileWeb report includes comparative data based on age and gender. Information on other demographic factors including income, race, and ethnicity will be added by early next year.