Huge Bump in Surfing the Web By Phone.

Posted by truecreek on April 6, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

By Heidi Dawley
Mar 19, 2009

Mobile internet may have taken time to find its footing with consumers, but now it is powering along, gaining users at a fast clip.

What’s more it has moved beyond just an occasional toy for a rapidly increasing group of people.

The number of people who access news and information on the internet on a daily basis more than doubled in the last year, rising to 22.4 million in January from 10.8 million in the same month in 2008, according to a new study from ComScore.

“It is now more than a novelty. It is something that is a utility,” says Mark Donovan, senior vice president for mobile at comScore.

The transformation for mobile stems directly from improved web technology and a dramatic improvement in content.

In many ways the change is similar to what happened with internet access via the PC some years ago. In the early days, when dial-up ruled and content was limited, people might surf a bit each month. It was still a novelty. It became a daily habit as more content became available and fast internet connections gained over dial-up.

“You saw how the computer became knitted into the fabric of their lives. That’s now happening with the mobile phone,” says Donovan.

Another factor is handsets that are handier for surfing, but as comScore points out, it’s not just smartphones like Apple’s iPhone. It found that 70 percent of people accessing mobile internet content were using phones with lesser features.

The big draw for mobile surfers is news and information. ComScore found that the number of mobile users who visited such sites on a daily basis has more than doubled, rising 107 percent, to 22.4 million, by January as compared the prior January.

But the fastest-growing category in terms of the number of daily users is social networks and blogs. The number accessing these sites was up 427 percent to 9.2 million.

The third-biggest category was financial services, trading stocks, and accessing bank accounts and the like. That was up 188 percent, to 3.2 million daily users. This is also a category that Donovan believes is likely to continue growing rapidly.

For advertisers the rapid shift to accessing the web via mobile phones makes this area far more appealing, says Donovan.

“We have shown that mobile is sizable audience, it is frequently used by 35 percent daily. Plus a big portion of those people are additive, in that advertiser wouldn’t get them by just advertising on the PC web,” he says.

He is referring to some previous comScore research that showed that light PC internet users are 30 percent more likely to be using the mobile internet. So mobile is a key way to reach them.

What’s more, the people who are surfing from their phones are a nice sweet spot for advertising, believes Donovan. They tend to be men ages 18-35, who are highly connected and highly distracted. The mobile phone is their connection to the digital world.

Remember “Minority Report?”

Posted by truecreek on January 31, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

By DINESH RAMDE

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Watch an advertisement on a video screen in a mall, health club or grocery store and there’s a slim – but growing – chance the ad is watching you too.

Small cameras can now be embedded in the screen or hidden around it, tracking who looks at the screen and for how long. The makers of the tracking systems say the software can determine the viewer’s gender, approximate age range and, in some cases, ethnicity – and can change the ads accordingly.

That could mean razor ads for men, cosmetics ads for women and video-game ads for teens.

And even if the ads don’t shift based on which people are watching, the technology’s ability to determine the viewers’ demographics is golden for advertisers who want to know how effectively they’re reaching their target audience.

While the technology remains in limited use for now, advertising industry analysts say it is finally beginning to live up to its promise. The manufacturers say their systems can accurately determine gender 85 to 90 percent of the time, while accuracy for the other measures continues to be refined.

The concept is reminiscent of the science-fiction movie “Minority Report,” in which Tom Cruise’s character enters a mall and finds that retinal scanners identify him and prompt personalized ads that greet him by name.

But this technology doesn’t go nearly that far. It doesn’t identify people individually – it simply categorizes them by outward appearances.

So a video screen might show a motorcycle ad for a group of men, but switch to a minivan ad when women and children join them, said Vicki Rabenou, the chief measurement officer of Tampa, Fla.-based TruMedia Technologies Inc., one of the leaders in developing the technology.

“This is proactive merchandising,” Rabenou said. “You’re targeting people with smart ads.”