A BBC World News global survey results reveal the increasing importance of smartphones to affluent consumers and demonstrate the extent to which mobile devices are integrated into their personal and, crucially, their business lives, as improved technology enables greater engagement with content.
The study also provides clear evidence that affluent consumers, who make up a large proportion of the BBC World News and BBC.com/newsaudience, are significantly more receptive to mobile advertising than the general population.
BBC surveyed 6,000 smartphone owners in Australia, Germany, Sweden, India, Hong Kong and the US. It compared the habits of affluent consumers – the highest 20% income earners in each country – to those of the general population.
When asked which single device they prefer to use for news, the number of affluent consumers who name the mobile phone has risen by 15% since 2012 and tablet is up by 9%.In contrast, the amount of people who say they prefer desktop has decreased by 17%.
Additionally, 2012’s survey found that news consumption on mobiles was mainly restricted to scanning news headlines. In comparison, 34% of new handset users* surveyed in the new study say they now dive deeper when consuming news and are likely to read additional articles connected the original piece. This is 42% higher than for those using older handsets. Owners of the latest handsets are also 10% more likely than the general population to watch news video or stream content on their mobile phones.
Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News Ltd said: “The rapidly growing importance of mobile to our global audiences is one of the big themes for our industry and we are constantly working to create the best mobile browsing experience, be that with the introduction of our international BBC News and Sports apps, or on-going responsive design innovations. This new research reveals significant change in mobile consumption – people are delving deeper into stories on their mobiles, consuming more video and, significantly, growing accustomed to advertising on their mobiles. This large study provides compelling evidence that mobile advertising works with affluent mobile consumers in particular and that has big implications for publishers and advertisers alike.”
Key findings include:
• 51% of affluent consumers use their mobile phone for business, compared to 40% of the general population
• 39% of affluent consumers access the internet via their mobile devices at least once an hour, which is 18% higher than the general population
• Affluent consumers are 18% more likely to share their location to get relevant services than the general population
• Affluent consumers are more likely to prefer mobile devices to desktop for news-related content than the general population. The contrast is particularly notable for current affairs or breaking news, where the figure is15% higher for affluent consumers than the general population, and business/finance news, where it is28% higher
• News apps are the most commonly used mobile phone apps for affluent consumers, whilst social network apps are favoured by the general population
• A third of affluent consumers agree that, if a brand wants to be modern and dynamic, it needs to be on mobile – 15% higher than the general population
• Mobile advertising is twice as effective as the already proven advertising medium desktop in driving key brand metrics such as awareness, favourability and purchase intent amongst the total population. This figure rises to four times as effective for affluent consumers
• High income earners are as positive towards advertising on mobile (19%) as desktop (18%). The percentage who are happy to see ads on mobile websites rises to 41% for sites where the content is free.
• 55% of affluent Indian consumers access the internet hourly in India on mobile devices vs. 39% of total affluent consumers
• Affluent Indian consumers are far more likely to use their phone for business (79%) vs. 51% for total affluent consumers
• Over half of affluent consumers in India agree that their smartphone is the primary tool for organising their personal life
• 58% of affluent consumers in India agree that an increasing amount of their work is being accomplished on their mobile device (compared to 35% all affluent consumers)
• 56% of affluent consumers in India prefer to use their mobile device to access news, rather than using a desktop (30% for all affluent consumers)
• 52% of affluent consumers in India are more likely to share stories on mobile rather than desktop (compared 31% for all affluent consumers).
• 56% of affluent Indian consumers agreed that to be seen as modern and dynamic a brand needs to be on mobile (compared to 30% all affluent consumers).