The number of people using their mobile device daily to access online news and information more than doubled from January 2008 to January 2009 and now stands at 22.4 million, according to data from comScore (via MarketingCharts).
Among the total audience of 63.2 million people who accessed news and information on their mobile devices in January 2009, more than a third (35%) did so daily.
comScore also reports that the fastest growing activities for mobile web use are accessing news and information, social networking and blogging, stock trading and accessing financial information and seeking movie information. Notably, social networking and blogging are "growing at a torrid pace," said Mark Donovan, SVP, mobile, comScore.
"Over the course of the past year, we have seen use of mobile internet evolve from an occasional activity to being a daily part of people’s lives," Donovan added. "This underscores the growing importance of the mobile medium as consumers become more reliant on their mobile devices to access time-sensitive and utilitarian information."
Applications Drive Increased Use
Much of the growth in news and information usage is driven by the increased popularity of downloaded applications, such as those offered for the iPhone, and by text-based searches, comScore said. While smartphones and high-end feature phones, like the Samsung Instinct and LG Dare comprise the top 10 devices used for news and information access, 70% of those accessing mobile internet content are using feature phones."
In January, 22.3 million people accessed news and information via a downloaded application. Maps are the most popular downloaded application with 8.2 million users, while search is the overwhelmingly favored use for SMS-based news and information access, with 14.1 million users. Overall, 32.4 million people used SMS to access news and information in January.
Young males are the most avid users of mobile news and information, with half of 18-to-34-year-old males engaging in the activity, comScore said. The mobile internet is also popular among females in the 18-to-24-year-old demographic, with 40% accessing it at least once in January.