Americans Share Some Things In Common With European Mobile Users

At least when it comes to mobile content that doesn't require fast networks or high-end devices, European and American consumption habits are more similar than is generally believed, according to a new study from M:Metrics and Buongiorno, the multinational digital entertainment company.

While text messaging is still far more prevalent in Europe, use of ring tones and graphics are very similar. (Mobile music is currently the largest sector of mobile entertainment worldwide, and 80% of mobile music revenue comes from ring tones.)

Also, the U.S. actually outperforms most European countries when it comes to using mobile email and instant messaging.

The study also notes that there is surprisingly little difference in "genres of news and information consumption."

However, use of mobile video, photo messaging and music correlate closely with penetration of 3G (third-generation high data-speed carriers), and penetration is considerably higher in European markets.

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For example, during the sample month of January, the percentages of mobile subscribers who transferred music to their mobile devices were 12% in the U.K., 10% in Italy, 9% in Spain and 3% in the U.S. In the U.K., more than 15% of 3G subscribers watched videos on their mobile phones.

The most significant mobile usage difference found was in multimedia messaging services (MMS): Between 20% and 31.5% of European mobile subscribers report using MMS network services for photos or videos, compared to just 14.7% of Americans.

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