US and Europe Trail Japan in Mobile Connected Media Usage

comScore has released a study comparing mobile usage and behaviours in Japan, the US and Europe from its MobiLens service. The report examines multiple dimensions of mobile usage, including content consumption, demographic comparisons and top social networking brands across markets, to provide a comparative look at how consumers interact with mobile media across various geographic markets.

comScore’s cross-market analysis of mobile activities in Japan, the US and Europe reveals significant differences among consumers by geography. Mobile users in Japan are the most connected of the three markets, with more than 75 per cent using connected media (browsed, accessed applications or downloaded content) in June, compared to 43.7 per cent in the US and 38.5 per cent in Europe.

Japanese mobile users also displayed the strongest usage of both applications and browsers, with 59.3 per cent of the entire mobile population accessing their browsers in June, and 42.3 per cent accessing applications. Comparatively, 34 per cent of mobile users in the US, and 25.8 per cent in Europe, used their mobile browsers, with 31.1 per cent in the US and 24.9 per cent in Europe accessing applications.

Messaging methods also varied, with Europeans displaying the strongest use of text messaging. 81.7 per cent of Europeans sent a text message in June, compared to 66.8 per cent in the US and just 40.1 per cent in Japan. Japanese users exhibited the highest reach in the email category at 54 per cent, while consumers in the US were most likely (17.2 per cent) to use instant messaging services on their mobile.

Social networking/blogs reached the greatest percentage of mobile users in the US at 21.3 per cent, followed by Japan at 17 per cent and Europe at 14.7 per cent. Japanese users were most likely to capture photos (63 per cent) and watch TV/video (22 per cent) on their mobiles, while Europeans were most likely to listen to music (24.2 per cent) and play games (24.1 per cent).

Demographic breakdown
A demographic analysis of mobile media users across markets showed that mobile media consumption was more balanced across age segments in Japan when compared to the US and Europe. In the US, 25-34 year olds were 44 per cent more likely to access mobile media than an average mobile user, with 18-24 year olds 39 per cent more likely. In Europe, 18-24 year olds represented the most-connected segment, 54 per cent more likely to be mobile media users, while persons age 25-34 were 35 per cent more likely.

The US and Europe also showed greater gender disparity among mobile media audiences. Females were 9 per cent less likely to be mobile media users in the US, while females in Europe were 16 per cent less likely.

Top mobile social media brands
Across markets, local and global brands showed varying levels of adoption by mobile audiences. In all three markets, the top mobile social media brand mirrored the top PC-based social networking brand, with Facebook leading in the US and Europe, and Mixi leading in Japan. Local brands Gree and Mobage Town were the No.2 and No.4 most accessed social networking brands in Japan. Twitter was the only brand to be ranked in the top four in all markets.

“Mobile media usage continues to accelerate across the globe, driven by advancing technologies and the growing number of content options available to consumers,” says Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “As we look across markets, dramatic differences in mobile media consumption, brand adoption and user behaviour become evident. These differences are even more pronounced than they are for PC-based internet usage, due to the complex nature of mobile – including various device capabilities, operating systems and methods of accessing content. For brands seeking to establish a multi-market presence, understanding usage dynamics across geographies is essential to implementing a successful global mobile marketing strategy.”