TELECOM & INTERNET | Tony Chua, Hong Kong

Hong Kong smartphone users keen on news apps

A survey revealed that most apps are used to look for various information and entertainment from the Internet via mobile devices during commuting time.

With the rapid growth of mobile technology, the ownership of Smartphones have been booming in Hong Kong recently, leading to the immense demand of mobile applications, which generates desirable business opportunities to apps owners and developers, mobile brands and operators, and mobile advertising agencies and specialists. To catch up the business development, it is important to understand the mobile apps using behavior among the Smartphone users. In this regard, Hotmob conducted the Hong Kong’s first mobile apps using behavior survey via Smartphones and online through its affiliate partners in June 2011.

The mobile apps using behavior survey, supported by the global measurement and analytics provider, Nielsen, was launched through Hotmob’s extensive affiliate network between 6th and 12th Jun 2011. The supportive affiliates included (in no particular order) KMB, OpenRice Hong Kong, JobsDB, HKToolbar, Hong Kong Movie. Smartphone users who clicked the banner ads shown on the above channels were directed to the survey. An admission ticket to the APPS@SMARTPHONE EXPO 2011 was offered to those who completed the survey as a token of appreciation for their participations, according to a Hotmob report.

The mobile apps using behavior survey is also a pioneer study conducted via mobile platform in Hong Kong. It is a great success with the participation from more than 2,500 respondents. The questions are concise and targeted, in an interactive and easy-to-complete design.

What mobile data service plans do they use?
Most Smartphone users look for various information and entertainment from the Internet via mobile devices. This is proved by over half (55%) of the respondents who are using unlimited data service plan. In particular, the users of unlimited data service plan tend to skew towards the working group, with over half of respondents aged 21-30 (53%), 31-40 (60%) and 41-50 (59%). Moreover, close to half (48%) of those aged 20 or below are using unlimited data service plans too, implying that teenagers have high demand for mobile Internet activities even though they may not have high-spending power. However, there is nearly a third (29%) of teenagers not using any data service plan.

What types of apps do they usually use?
It is not surprising that News apps is ranked No.1 in the Top 3 used apps with more than two-thirds (69%) of the respondents, implying that users rely heavily on their Smartphones for daily news and timely information, which enables them staying ahead of what is happening in the society. Moreover, users also look for leisure and entertainment as shown by over half of respondents who ranked Games (55%) and Leisure (52%) in the Top 3 used apps. They are followed by Maps (36%), Food (25%), Transport (24%), Finance (23%) and Books (16%).

When do they usually use mobile apps?
Hong Kong people use mobile apps in multiple occasions. Most of the surveyed Smartphone users use mobile apps when they are commuting (77%), while over half (54%) of the respondents use mobile apps during leisure time, followed by meal time (35%) and bedtime/wake-up time (35%). Interestingly, there is a third (30%) of respondents spending time on mobile apps during the washroom time.

What types of mobile ads would they like to receive?
Regarding the mobile ad information, over two-thirds (67%) of respondents prefer receiving discount/promotion offers. New mobile apps promotion are ranked second (57%), followed by new product/service information (45%) and location-based information/promotions (33%). In particular, three quarters (75%) of female respondents look for discount/promotion offers while nearly half (47%) of male respondents wish to obtain new product/service information.

What actions do they take after seeing mobile ads?
Mobile advertising is able to arouse the curiosity of consumers to understand more about the products/services of advertisers. This is supported by the findings that nearly two-thirds (65%) of the respondents will visit the product/service website directly after seeing the mobile advertising. Nearly (48%) half will pay attention to the future promotion of the same advertisers.

Mobile apps are taking a vital role in becoming an indispensable instrument of the Smartphone users’ daily lives. It is believed that the study of mobile apps using behavior will provide valuable information for marketers to communicate with their target population in the mobile space more effectively.

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