Thursday, March 29, 2007

Handheld users can't be bothered
to use internet access

For those of you who wonder why anyone would want to read a magazine article or watch "Pirates of the Caribbean" on a teeny cell phone screen comes word that you've got plenty of company.

According to a story published by the Centre for Media Research (Media Post), a new study has found that barely 5% of people access the internet from a mobile device -- even if their handheld is equipped for it. And only 1 in 5 access news or television on their devices. 50% of respondents to the study by Media-Screen say mobile internet access doesn't fit into their lifestyle. 58% have internet-equipped mobile devices that they don't bother to use.

This has implications for the publishers out there who may be wondering how and where to allocate their time, budget and attention in multi-media applications. Although this study doesn't specifically address magazines, it appears that home and work screens are more likely -- at least for now -- to be the devices of choice for digital access to magazine content.



Blogger Rick said...

The report's implications might have taken on a different light if you had included this sentence from the release: "The report concludes that they [consumers] are reluctant to partake in online mobile activities due to extra fees and difficulties establishing and maintaining Internet connections."

In other words, it's not so much that people are rejecting mobile Internet applications, it's that these services are not yet ready to serve a mass market. Much like cellphones in 1984 or the Web itself in 1996, they are not quite ready for prime time.

They key lesson of new media is that they create all-new forms of content we couldn't have imagined previously: like reality TV programs, or eBay and MySpace. Clever magazine publishers should be looking not at how consumers are using wireless data now, but how they might use it in future.

10:57 am  
Blogger D. B. Scott said...

That's a fair comment. However clever publishers have to weigh the expenditure of limited resources and not get carried away with what might be. I have two words for you: picture phones. And two more: flying cars

11:08 am  
Blogger Zeke's, the Montreal Art Gallery said...


Let me pile on and agree with Rick here. I posted a 5 minute video to my blog, and asked my brother-in-law to download it so I could see how it looked on a cellphone.

He told me it would cost him $60. I said, I wasn't that desperate to see how it looked on a cellphone.

4:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick and Zeke have good points. Once it is affordable to the masses, I think we will find usage will skyrocket. The only ones who access the internet, news, etc. by cellphone are those who don't have to pay the bills for it at the end of the month!

10:44 am  
Blogger D. B. Scott said...

The item never said that handheld use wouldn't grow; we simply pointed out that, despite all the hype (and perhaps, as you say, because of the cost)the uptake is fairly small. And I continue to think that the idea of watching a film or reading more than news headlines on your cellphone will never be the killer app that its proponents are saying.

12:16 pm  

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