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'Light' PC Web Users Are More Likely to Surf Mobile

ComScore: Consumers Are on the Move so Marketers Should Adjust Buys

By Published on .

SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Always-online internet junkies might seem to be the most likely users to lead the charge in adopting the mobile web but a recent ComScore study has found that assumption is not necessarily the case.

The ComScore study showed that 'light' PC users download more news and information on their mobile handsets than 'heavy' PC users.
The ComScore study showed that 'light' PC users download more news and information on their mobile handsets than 'heavy' PC users.
How often you are connected to the web via a computer is not a good predictor of mobile internet usage, according to the study, which found light PC internet users are 30% more likely than heavy PC internet users to use their cellphones to access the internet.

According to the study, 15.2% of "light" PC internet users downloaded news and information on their mobile handsets at least once a week, compared to 11.7% of "heavy" PC internet users.

Forty-two million people used their mobile devices in October 2008 to retrieve news and other information on the internet, an increase of 57% from a year ago.

"That audience advertisers are trying to reach is moving around," said Mark Donovan, senior analyst at ComScore. "In a world where advertisers are increasingly looking to interactive, measurable advertising, and in a world where advertising budgets are increasingly constrained, it's a misnomer to think you're going to hit 100% of the audience you're targeting if you're just doing buys on the web."

Heavy PC internet users are those who viewed, on average, 6,701 pages in the month, and light users are those who viewed, on average, 1,104 pages in the month. Twenty percent of PC internet users in the study are heavy users, and accounted for 43% of overall page views, while 50% were light users and accounted for 18% of page views. The rest were categorized as medium users.

The study also deflates the idea that heavy mobile users are young. The digitally savvy tend to be under 24, but many heavily mobile users are older. Mobile internet users tend to be men (58%) aged 18-44, according to the study.

Heavy mobile internet users also tend to gravitate toward websites with entertainment, sports and regional and local content. Meanwhile, light mobile internet users (the heavy PC Internet users) gravitate toward content related to education, travel, business and finance.

The study covered usage for the three-month average ended October 2008; 1,328 people participated.

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