Mobile Education Under the Spotlight in MEF Survey

Education appMEF has released the third report in its Global Consumer Insights Series, looking this time at Mobile Education. The report analysed data from 10,000 respondents in 13 countries, highlighting both regional and global trends for mobile education products and services.

Educational apps rank ninth among all app categories, with 17 per cent of mobile media users downloading an educational app globally. This is a slight decline from 20 per cent in 2012 but should be taken in the context of the trend in overall app consumption identified in MEF’s Global Consumer Survey, which found a growing trend of consumers being more selective about which new services and apps they download.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, educational app usage is greatest in growth markets. Four of the five countries with a larger than average market for education apps are India, S. Africa, Kenya and Nigeria (the fifth is the US).

Additionally, the use of educational mobile apps is often mandated in these countries. When asked about “motivations for purchase”, users in Nigeria, India, Kenya and South Africa were most likely to reply: “I had to for my school/college/university.” Conversely, in developed markets where access to education and the internet is universal, the demand for educational apps is lower.

However, consumers in these markets still display a firm desire for self-improvement, with reference, medical and productivity apps in much higher demand. The global average demand for these products among mobile media users is still low at just nine per cent, but US mobile media users, for example, consume such apps at much higher rates – 15 per cent (productivity), 17 per cent (medical) and 21 per cent (reference).

Interestingly, many users see education apps as playful or fun rather than just a functional aide to education. When asked what motivated them to buy an app from an educational site, the top answer was entertainment (47 per cent versus 35 per cent of those buying an app from any site). This, MEF says, can be attributed to the successful gamification of educational apps by developers who have introduced gaming concepts such as quizzes, rewards and competition to the learning process.

The report also highlights that educational app users are more engaged with mCommerce than other users, spending more on mobile-related purchases. The research shows that 65 per cent of the total sample makes some form of purchase from their phones. For educational app users, its 72 per cent. They are also more likely to spend heavily (46 per cent have spent more than $151 on a purchase versus 39 per cent).