A Mobile Advertiser’s Look at Smartphone Users

Kurt Hawks, a strategy and operations general manager at Greystripe (a mobile advertising network), was interviewed recently by eMarketer, mainly about the behaviors and habits of smartphone users. He spoke of the smartphone user’s habit of “snacking”: “If you look around while at a coffee shop, you see people pick up their phones and start doing something, using the application, checking news. They are accessing small snippets of content all throughout the day, and we find there a lot of great ways for advertisers to reach out and engage those consumers…” He went on to comment about other smartphone user traits, such as their spendable income, their mobility, and their preference for “a value exchange with regard to advertising and free content.” He touches on other subjects during the interview, including gaming, mobile advertising campaigns, and the future of smartphones.

To read the interview, go to http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009003&ecid=a6506033675d47f881651943c21c5ed4

Changes in Smartphone Demographics to Impact Marketers

Smartphone ownership is nearing more than 50% of all U.S. mobile phone users, causing skyrocketing content consumption on mobile devices. As a result of this growth, the core age demographic is going through changes that savvy marketers will have to account for. Currently, the highest smartphone ownership rate is among adults aged 25 to 55, compared to general mobile phone ownership, which skews younger (18 to 44 years of age). Much of this difference is due to the fact that many younger people cannot afford the higher-priced smartphones. However, with the decline in smartphone prices expected to continue, and the ongoing integration of smartphone functionality into everyday life becoming increasingly crucial to more and more consumers, smartphone ownership at the lower end of the age scale is forecast to increase dramatically in the next few years. A new report by eMarketer, “US Mobile Usage Forecast,” answers important questions about these near-future changes in the smartphone marketplace.

For more information, see http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008998&ecid=a6506033675d47f881651943c21c5ed4

Consumers Turn to Mobile Devices for Product Research

In a relatively unsurprising yet interesting development, consumers, who have already widely adopted the online product research paradigm using laptop and desktop computers, have turned to their mobile devices to assist in their fieldwork. A recent study by Local Corporation found that more than 60% of North American consumers researched products or services multiple times a month via a mobile device, part of a growing trend among web users to use whatever tools they have handy to inform their purchase decisions. The report also found that 80% of tablet owners used their tablet in the same manner, with 23% using it conjunction with a desktop/laptop computer, while another 19% also used their smartphone.

For additional coverage, see http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009000&ecid=a6506033675d47f881651943c21c5ed4

April 2012 CrossTalk Now Available

The April 2012 edition of CrossTalk has been compiled, curated, and now, released out into the wild. This issue contains plenty of breaking industry news, relevant free and for pay market research, and a handy compendium of upcoming events. Stay up to date with all things telco and broadband by getting your April 2012 CrossTalk today.

For more information, go to http://www.actiontec.com/newsletter/april12/

Netflix Has Stellar Q1 2012

Netflix, it appears, just keeps on rolling along. The video service corralled nearly 1.75 million new streaming subscribers during Q1 2012, while fending off competitive threats posed by newcomers like HBO Go or Comcast’s Streampix service by touting its content selection, user interface, and overwhelming dominance on devices. Past Q1, however, it gets a little rocky, as the company expects fewer than 200,000 new subscribers during the next couple of quarters. Netflix did say it hopes to uncover new subscribers through bundling with cable operators, ISPs, and retailers, who would add the service and then add Netflix as a line item in the total cable bill.

For more coverage, see http://www.fiercecable.com/story/netflix-grows-streaming-subscribers-brushes-aside-tv-everywhere-competition/2012-04-24

Gigabit Users More Network Savvy

According to a new study, adopters of gigabit fiber optic services are online for three times the daily average while using more complex home networks that support five or more devices. The report, “Residential Gigabit Subscribers: Services, Applications and Attitudes,” was provided by Telecom Thinktank and RVA LLC and offers a glimpse into the growing community of gigabit Internet users worldwide. Gigabit fiber optic services are a relatively new feature, having debuted in Hong Kong in 2010, but are spreading rapidly through smaller operators in densely populated areas. The survey was initiated to determine the motivation and use scenarios of consumers who employ ultra-high speed broadband access.

For additional information, see http://www.ftthcouncil.org/en/newsroom/2012/04/17/who-are-the-gigabit-internet-subscribers-study-released-by-ftth-council-explores

Actiontec Reaffirms Its Commitment To Green

Actiontec Electronics announced that it was officially designated a Green Business by the Bay Area Green Business Program, after meeting the program’s requirements and standards for minimizing waste, conserving resources, and preventing pollution. The Green Business Certification reflects Actiontec’s longstanding mission to be an environmentally conscious business. A couple of years ago, the company established a formal Sustainability Program to lower its environmental footprint in the following areas: water saving, recycling and reuse, and energy efficiency. The company also participates in a Carbon Disclosure Project, where it measures, manages, and discloses its greenhouse gas emissions and climate change data.

For more information, see http://www.actiontec.com/products/view_news.php?nid=280

E-reading Continues to Gain Momentum

To nobody’s particular surprise, e-book reading is on the rise. In fact, in Pew’s “The Rise of E-reading,” this explosion of popularity is thoroughly examined. In hard numbers, 21% of adults said in early 2012 that they had read an e-book in the past year, compared to 17% who reported doing so in December 2011. This jibed with a major uptick in e-reader ownership that occurred during the holiday gift-giving season. During that period, ownership of an e-book reader or tablet each increased to 19% of adults, compared to 10% for each device in mid-December. Another interesting statistic Pew unearthed: those who read e-books read more books than those who don’t have the devices. The average reader of e-books says he/she has read 24 books in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer. In the end, Pew suggests that the rise of e-books is part of a larger narrative: that of the titanic shift from printed to digital material.

For more coverage, go to http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2012/04/04/the-rise-of-e-reading/?src=prc-headline

While Gaps Remain, the Digital Divide is Narrowing

A new Pew Internet report was released recently, titled “Digital Differences.” In it, Pew discovered that 20% of American adults do not use the Internet. This group corresponded strongly with particular subsets of society, such as age, education level, and household income, and resembled results from a Pew survey held in 2000 that found that minorities, adults living in low-income households, and seniors were less likely to be online. On the other hand, the gaps are closing, especially with respect to minorities, although differences in access persist (for example, those with high-speed broadband at home vs. those without). Of the segment that doesn’t use the Internet, more than half claim that being online is irrelevant to them, and that the information they need is accessible to them through other means.

For the full report, see http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2240/internet-adoption-digital-online-broadband-mobile

Smart Grid Enabled Device Market to Reach 25 Million by 2017

According to a new report by IMS Research, over 25 million ‘smart grid-enabled’ devices, which includes devices like smart thermostats, energy displays, and appliances with the ability to communicate with smart meters, will be shipped in the U.S. in the next five years. These devices allow utility companies to more closely observe and regulate the amount of electricity consumers use. As these applicances become more popular, the debate about variable tariffs such as dynamic pricing, or “demand-response,” will intensify, while other programs like load-shedding will also bear greater scrutiny.

For additional coverage, go to http://imsresearch.com/press-release/Over_25_Million_Smart_Energy_Management_Devices_will_be_Shipped_to_US_Consumers_in_the_Next_Five_Years&from=all_pr

“Cord-Cutting” Revolution Grows Slowly, Consistently

Despite content provider insistence that cable “cord cutters” are as numerous as unicorns, a series of new studies by the Convergence Consulting Group reveals that 2.65 million domestic cable customers ended their subscriptions between 2008-2011 and switched to “over-the-top” video options such as Netflix.  According to the report, titled “The Battle for the American Couch Potato” (pdf), the pay TV industry added a 112,000 cable, satellite and telco TV customers last year, much less than industry estimates. CCG makes it clear in the report that while the “cord-cutting” revolution continues to be very slow in coming, it is coming, and denying that it’s not is sheer folly.

For more information, go to http://www.broadbandreports.com/shownews/1-Million-Pay-TV-Users-Cut-Cord-in-2011-119098

Americans Heading Online For Video

For the first time, Americans in 2012 will pay to view more movies online than they will on Blu-ray discs and other physical video formats, according to recent research by IHS. The legal acquisition of movies online in the United States will reach 3.4 billion views or transactions during this year, compared to 2.4 billion for physical video. For comparison, in 2011, physical video claimed a majority share of the market with 2.6 billion views or transactions, compared to 1.4 billion for online. Additionally, IHS expects online video transactions and videos to continue to increase in the near future, while physical video sales will extend their ongoing decline.

For additional coverage, go to http://www.isuppli.com/Media-Research/News/Pages/US-Audiences-to-Pay-More-for-Online-Movies-in-2012-than-for-Physical-Videos.aspx

“Hybrid” TV Services Are Coming

A new report from research firm In-Stat, “The New TV Experience: TV Apps and Hybrid Services,” forecasts that the next step in the TV viewing experience will involve “hybrid” services. These services will combine traditional TV services and content from the Internet (which includes web services that provide authorized content). In-Stat expects nearly 80 million households to be using some form of these hybrid TV services by 2016. Other findings in the report include:

  • Personal computers are still the primary display device for viewing videos from the Internet.
  • North America is the early leader for hybrid TV households, but the UK, France, and Germany are coming on strong.
  • Europe will become the worldwide center of excellence for long-term development of hybrid TV services.

For more information, see http://www.instat.com/press.asp?ID=3362&sku=IN1205281TV

Video Surveillance as a Service on the Rise

IMS Research, now a part of IHS, estimates that the world market for cloud-based video surveillance, or video surveillance as a service (VSaaS), was worth over $500 million in 2011, an increase of 25% from 2010. Much of that increase was due to demand from consumers, small-to-medium businesses, and government users. VSaaS can include self-monitoring, integrated analytics, and off-site storage. While VSaaS  is clearly starting to emerge, factors such as price could slow down its momentum. Current monthly camera subscriptions run between $5 and $30, depending on the level of service and the inclusion of hardware. While this sounds inexpensive, over time this will generate a considerable cost for the end user.

For more information, see http://imsresearch.com/press-release/Video_Surveillance_as_a_Service_VsaaS_Market_Set_to_Double_over_Next_Three_Years&from=all_pr

The Diffusion Group Overviews the Broadband Home

According to a new report from TDG, “The CE and PC Ecosystem of the Broadband Household: 2012,” 80% of U.S. broadband households now use a home network. This means they have access to a growing variety of net-based video and applications on a growing number of devices. Also, nearly 40% of home network routers are now located in the living room, more than twice the number found in home offices. These and other research findings are discussed in in the new report, the second edition of TDG’s annual release focused on electronic ownership, placement, and connectivity within the U.S. broadband homes.

For more coverage, go to http://tdgresearch.com/blogs/press-releases/archive/2012/03/22/home-network-penetration-tops-75-of-broadband-households.aspx

Siri a Hit, But Do Users Want It on TV?

Siri, the voice assistant that comes standard with Apple’s iPhone 4S, seems to have had its desired effect, as over 50% of iPhone 4S users consider themselves “very satisfied” with the feature. This according to a new report from international research firm Parks Associates, which also reveals that 21% of users are “satisfied” with Siri, meaning only a small percentage are unhappy. The report goes on to say that 37% of iPhone 4S users are also keen to have a similar voice-command interface on their TV, while approximately 20% do not. It remains to be seen whether Apple will launch a TV with Siri baked in, as some rumors have stated.

For additional information, see http://www.parksassociates.com/blog/article/parks-pr2012-siri

Apps and the Web: Friends or Foes?

In 2010, Wired ran an article titled “The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet,” the crux of which posited that the Web, defined as going online and surfing around, was in decline. Taking its place were specialized apps that perform one or a few tasks, perfect for the multitudes using mobile devices. However, a new survey of technology experts and Internet stakeholders found that while most of them still buy into mobile and the changes it has wrought, the popularity of targeted apps, the monetization of online products and services, and innovations in cloud computing will drive the web evolution and make the open Internet stronger than ever in users’ lives. Pew Internet’s new report, “The Future of Apps and Web,” takes a look at these developments and what they mean for online consumers.

For the full report, see http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2228/world-wide-web-open-apps