The strongest growth in the category is coming from downloaded applications, followed by SMS at 72%. However, developers, carriers and device OEMs remain the least popular access mode for mobile access of local information. A marginally more often used channel for obtaining local information is SMS, with an impressive 72% growth rate. Overwhelmingly, though, the preferred mode to access local content remains the mobile browser.
Subscribers Accessing Local Mobile Content by Access Method (Three-Month Average Ending March 2009 vs. March 2008; U.S. Mobile Subscribers Age 13+)
Number of Mobile Subscribers (MM)
Any Access Method
Application downloaded to phone
Source: comScore Mobile Local content defined as searching for information on maps, movies, business directories or restaurants.
Serge Matta, comScore senior vice president, says "...it would not be surprising within the next six months to see the number of people using downloadable applications surpass SMS for the accessing of local information via mobile devices... "
Among the various local content categories, the number of people accessing online directories has seen the greatest increase during the past year, followed by restaurants, maps, and movies.
Growth in Local Mobile Content by Genre (Three-Month Average Ending March 2009 vs. March 2008; U.S. Mobile Subscribers Age 13+)
Local Mobile Content Genre
Y/Y % Change
Source: comScore Mobile
Across the board, local search-focused Internet brands have been developing mobile content at a feverish pace. AT&T Interactive has made a significant effort to expand its YELLOWPAGES.COM online experience across several mobile platforms.
Local search brands seeking to capitalize on the trend are looking to mobile to extend consumer reach and attract incremental ad dollars. Joining YELLOWPAGES.COM within the past six months, Idearc's Superpages, R.H. Donnelley's DexKnows and Yellowbook's Yellowbook.com have all released iPhone applications.
Deborah Eldred, Director, Mobile and Personalization for R.H. Donnelley concludes that "The mobile medium is an ideal fit for local directories... we have seen a significant increase in queries specific to visiting a local establishment, as people are looking for information about where to eat and what to do when they are out and about... they look to a trusted brand to provide the confidence that consumers need... "
For information about this study from comScore, please visit here.