Mobile web favoured by youth

James Middleton

November 24, 2008

2 Min Read
Mobile web favoured by youth

The mobile operator community has been raving about mobile broadband and the rapid adoption of dongles all year. And analyst figures released Monday show that in the UK at least, the mobile web is growing eight times faster than fixed web access.

The figures, released by research house Nielsen on Monday, are unsurprising. Between the second and third quarters of 2008, the number of Britons accessing the web via their mobile increased 25 per cent from 5.8 million to 7.3 million. This compares to a 3 per cent growth for the PC-based internet, which grew from 34.3 million to 35.3 million over the same period.

It should also come as no surprise that the mobile internet audience has a higher concentration of younger users than the PC-based internet, with 25 per cent of mobile internet consumers aged 15-24, compared to 16 per cent for PC-based consumers. Moreover, 23 per cent of the PC-based internet population is 55+, while only 12 per cent of the mobile internet audience is.

More interesting is the comparison between the most popular sites on the two mediums. Whilst Google Search is the most popular PC-based internet site, the most popular mobile internet site is BBC News, visited by 24 per cent of British mobile internet consumers (1.7 million people) every month.

Of the most popular mobile sites, BBC Weather, which gets 21 per cent of mobile viewers and 17 per cent of PC-based viewers every month; Sky Sports, which gets 11 per cent of mobile, and 8 per cent of PC users; and Gmail, with 9 per cent of mobile, and 7 per cent of PC users, have greater reach on the mobile internet than they do on the traditional web.

Comparatively, of the most popular mobile sites, Google Search, with 23 per cent of mobile and 79 per cent of PC-based viewers, and eBay with 13 per cent of mobile, and 43 per cent of PC viewers, have the greatest reach differential between the mobile and PC-based internet.

Kent Ferguson, senior analyst with Nielsen, said “It’s interesting to see that BBC Weather, Sky Sports and Gmail are amongst the few sites that have a greater reach on the mobile internet than the PC-based internet. This highlights the advantage of mobile when it comes to immediacy; people often need fast, instant access to weather or sports news and mobile can obviously satisfy this, wherever they are.”

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of | Follow him @telecomsjames

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