comScore, Inc
Jun 2, 2010

Social Networking Ranks as Fastest-Growing Mobile Content Category

Browser Continues to be More Popular than Applications for Accessing Mobile Web

RESTON, Va., June 2, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- comScore, Inc. (Nasdaq: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a report on the fastest-growing mobile application and browser content categories based on data from its MobiLens service. The report found that social networking led as the top-gaining category for both application and browser access, confirming the surging popularity of this service on mobile devices. The study also found that accessing Bank Accounts was one of the fastest-gaining categories via both app and browser, as the convenience of mobile banking continues to appeal to a growing number of consumers.

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"With mobile media consumption on the rise, the discussion of how consumers are accessing content -- whether it is via application, browser or both -- continues to be an important factor for companies looking to invest further in their mobile brands," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. "Although application access is clearly on the rise, with several categories more than doubling their audience via this method, content consumption via browser continues to be the most popular method for Americans to access mobile media."

Smartphone Users Post Triple-Digit Growth in App and Browser Access

In terms of penetration, 78 percent of smartphone users accessed their browser in April 2010, while 80 percent of smartphone users accessed applications. In comparison, just 19 percent of feature phone users accessed their browser, with 17 percent accessing applications. Although smartphone users are driving growth in browser (up 111 percent in the past year) and application (up 112 percent) access, feature phone users still make up nearly half of all users accessing mobile browsers and apps.

"Although growth in application usage on smartphones continues to grab the spotlight in the mobile market, the audience using their mobile browser remains larger and is growing just as quickly," added Donovan. "Brands need to remember to take into consideration the user experience across both channels when building their mobile strategies."





    Smartphone* and Feature Phone Browser
     and Application Usage
    3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2010 vs. 3
     Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2009
    Total U.S. Age 13+
    Source: comScore MobiLens
    -------------------------
                        Apr-     Apr-       %
                        2009     2010    Change
                       -----    -----   -------
    Browser
    -------
    Total Mobile
     Market            55,503   72,872       31
    ------------       ------   ------      ---
    Smartphone         17,785   37,577      111
    ----------         ------   ------      ---
    Feature Phone      37,718   35,295       -6
    -------------      ------   ------      ---


    Application
    -----------
    Total Mobile
     Market            54,414   69,639       28
    ------------       ------   ------      ---
    Smartphone         18,126   38,413      112
    ----------         ------   ------      ---
    Feature Phone      36,288   31,226      -14
    -------------      ------   ------      ---



*comScore defines smartphones as a mobile device with the following operating systems: RIM, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Palm, Symbian

Social Networking App Audience More Than Triples in Past Year

In April 2010, 69.6 million mobile users accessed an application on their phone, an increase of 28 percent from the previous year. Several application categories experienced triple-digit growth in the past year, emphasizing the increasing popularity of this method as a form of mobile content access. Social Networking experienced the strongest growth in app access, increasing 240 percent to 14.5 million users. Accessing News apps followed, growing 124 percent to 9.3 million users, while Sports Information apps experienced a 113-percent surge to nearly 7.7 million users. Bank Accounts apps also more than doubled their audience, growing to nearly 5 million users in April.





    Fastest-Growing Content Categories via Application Access
    3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending
     Apr. 2009
    Total U.S. Age 13+
    Source: comScore MobiLens
    -------------------------
                                            Total Audience (000)
                                            --------------------
                                          Apr-     Apr-
    Application Access Category           2009     2010   % Change
    ---------------------------          -----    -----   --------
    Total Audience: 13+ yrs old         232,000  234,000         1
    ---------------------------         -------  -------       ---
    Used application (except native
     games)                              54,414   69,639        28
    -------------------------------      ------   ------       ---
    Social Networking                     4,270   14,518       240
    -----------------                     -----   ------       ---
    News                                  4,148    9,292       124
    ----                                  -----    -----       ---
    Sports Information                    3,598    7,672       113
    ------------------                    -----    -----       ---
    Bank Accounts                         2,340    4,974       113
    -------------                         -----    -----       ---
    Weather                               8,557   18,063       111
    -------                               -----   ------       ---
    Movie Information                     3,296    6,359        93
    -----------------                     -----    -----       ---
    Maps                                  8,708   16,773        93
    ----                                  -----   ------       ---
    Online Retail                         1,416    2,701        91
    -------------                         -----    -----       ---
    Photo or Video Sharing Service        3,131    5,950        90
    ------------------------------        -----    -----       ---
    Search                                5,434   10,315        90
    ------                                -----   ------       ---



More Americans Still Use their Browser versus Applications

Nearly 73 million mobile users accessed their browser in April, an increase of 31 percent from the previous year. Mirroring application category growth, Social Networking ranked as the fastest-growing category accessed via browser, growing 90 percent from the previous year to reach almost 30 million users, followed by Bank Accounts (69 percent to 13.2 million users). Online Retail sites also experienced a significant increase in audience usage via browser, increasing 47 percent to 7.3 million users, as Americans continued to show adoption of the mobile retail channel.

Donovan continued, "Social networking is by far the fastest-growing mobile activity right now. With 20 percent of mobile users now accessing social networking sites via their phone, we expect to see both application and browser usage continuing to drive future consumption of social media."





    Fastest-Growing Content Categories via Browser Access
    3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending
     Apr. 2009
    Total U.S. Age 13+
    Source: comScore MobiLens
    -------------------------
                                           Total Audience (000)
                                           --------------------
                                          Apr-      Apr-
    Browser Access Category                2009      2010   % Change
    -----------------------              -----     -----    --------
    Total Audience: 13+ yrs old          232,000   234,000         1
    ---------------------------          -------   -------       ---
    Used browser                          55,503    72,872        31
    ------------                          ------    ------       ---
    Social Networking                     15,708    29,835        90
    -----------------                     ------    ------       ---
    Bank Accounts                          7,801    13,154        69
    -------------                          -----    ------       ---
    General Reference                      7,246    12,084        67
    -----------------                      -----    ------       ---
    Sports Information                    14,033    21,549        54
    ------------------                    ------    ------       ---
    Search                                23,266    34,912        50
    ------                                ------    ------       ---
    Stock Trading                          3,214     4,817        50
    -------------                          -----     -----       ---
    Online Retail                          4,968     7,326        47
    -------------                          -----     -----       ---
    News                                  17,957    26,003        45
    ----                                  ------    ------       ---
    Movie Information                     10,295    14,895        45
    -----------------                     ------    ------       ---
    Classifieds                            7,039    10,181        45
    -----------                            -----    ------       ---



comScore will be hosting a complimentary webinar, The State of the Mobile: A Fragmented Reality? on Wednesday, June 9 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. For more information and to register for this webinar, please visit: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/665260201

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