<< by on February 14th, 2007
A very wise man told me in my youth to “Don’t Believe The Hype”. I’m pretty sure Chuck D. wasn’t talking about mobile search back in the day, but a new study by The Mobile Entertainment Forum and Ovum made me think for a second that he might have been. The study says that only 20% of United Kingdom mobile phone subscribers actually use mobile search.
Just 20% of UK subscribers actually search for content on the mobile internet, despite an industry perception that 89% do, according to research released today, from the Mobile Entertainment Forum and Ovum.
Even more interesting, only 2% are searching everyday, and most of that seems to be for ringtones or games for phones.
Despite subscribers not searching on the mobile internet as often as the industry expects (only 2% searching on a daily basis), those that do are downloading premium material, rather than just surfing.
Aren’t the European’s supposed to me more advanced users of mobile phones than Americans?
There are all kinds of companies gearing up for mobile search and marketing, and there is a lot of data out their touting it as the next big thing. The Mobile Marketing Association is the champion of the movement. With the advent of the iPhone I have to admit I can see it the potential myself.
A good recent article on clickz expanded on this topic and gave some pretty interesting mobile search usage data:
In December, four million unique users visited Yahoo’s mobile search interface, while Google had slightly more than that, at 4.5 million, according to M:Metrics. Search services from MSN and AOL trailed, at just over a million users each.
So what are you left to believe? Conflicting usage data, all the press about mobile search being the next big thing (Hype?)?
I think the best approach for most companies is to prepare for mobile search, but realize it’s going to take a while for real mobile search traffic to positively influence your website traffic and sales.