Monday, January 30, 2006

M:Metrics: In Battle of Portals Yahoo! Has Early Lead in Mobile Domain

New research from M:Metrics finds that "Yahoo! is the most popular mobile content brand. During the quarter ended December 2005 12.8 million U.S. mobile subscribers accessed Yahoo's services in an average month - 4 million more than second-place AOL. MSN and Google follow, with about 7 million subscribers accessing their mobile offerings each month during the fourth quarter."

Mark Donovan at M:Metrics said, "AOL owes its strong position in the mobile domain to its ability to provide seamless access to AIM buddy lists on handsets through an elegantly designed service and its strong relationships with mobile carriers. Its challenge is to demonstrate that it can use AIM as the foundation to engage users with a broader base of services, much as it is seeking to do on the desktop by opening access to its portal and e-mail services and linking these with AIM."

Mobile Content Brand Reach
Weather Brand Subscribers (000s)
The Weather Channel/ 4,127
Yahoo! 2,813
Google 1,513
Accuweather 1,300
Weatherbug 1,161

News Brand Subscribers (000s)
ESPN Sports News 4,934
Yahoo! 4,599
CNN/ 4,514
Fox Sports 2,462 2,189

Search Brand Subscribers (000s)
Google 4,538
Yahoo! 3,975
MSN Mobile/MSNBC 1,324
AOL Mobile 1,039
Don't Know 582

Map/Directory Service Brand Subscribers (000s)
Yahoo! 3,793
Mapquest 3,048
Google 3,03
Yellow Pages 2,128
Moviefone 1,907

Source: M:Metrics, Inc. Copyright 2006. Three-month moving average ending December 31, 2005, n=35,056.

Donovan added, "Although these are early days in mobile media, the aggressive efforts in mobile by Yahoo! and AOL are paying off. But it is a close race, and as traditional media brands put more muscle into their mobile businesses, we expect that the market will shift."

US Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications
M:Metrics Benchmark Survey: December 2005
Activity Projected Monthly
Reach (000s)
Percent US
Mobile Subscribers
Sent or Received Text Message 60,983 33.32% 4.6%
Retrieved News and Information Via Browser 18,572 10.15% 0.1%
Purchased Ringtone 17,675 9.66% 7.3%
Used Photo Messaging 17,005 9.29% 9.4%
Used Personal E-mail 13,454 7.35% 9.4%
Used Mobile Instant Messenger 11,568 6.32% 10.5%
Used Work E-mail 7,886 4.31% 12.8%
Purchased Wallpaper or Screensaver 7,176 3.92% 8.5%
Downloaded Mobile Game 6,052 3.31% 6.5%
Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright 2006. Survey of U.S. mobile subscribers. Data based on three-month moving average for period ending December 31, 2005, n= 35,056.

Very interesting data indeed. I wonder how much of the content is via the carrier portals...