Mobile phones trump TV for entertainment and information

In less than a decade, the mobile phone has changed the way we communicate, not to mention its deep impact on language, relationships and more recently, entertainment.

With increasing screen sizes, easier access to mobile internet and the growing mobile app store juggernaut, people are spending more time on their mobile phones. Now, a survey by Bangalore-based mobile ad network InMobi confirms that mobile users spend far more time on the web, through their mobile phones, than watching television or even sitting in front of their laptops or desktop computers.

Growing usage

Cellphone users, the survey finds, spend 33 per cent of their media time on the phone, compared to television, which received around 25 per cent of people's media time. Further, it finds that users spend an average of 94 minutes a day on their phone for content consumption (that is browsing for entertainment). This is excluding the time they spend on other activities such as SMS or voice calls, which have not been considered under the entertainment bracket.

The results of this survey, which is part of a larger global “mobile consumption” survey conducted in 18 markets across the world, were unveiled at the ongoing Mobile World Congress. In India, the sample size of the survey was 2,200.

Preferred medium

Interestingly, 72 per cent of all mobile Internet users in India use the phone as their “exclusive or primary” means of browsing the web.

The mobile phone consistently scored higher when compared to other media across a variety of activities, the survey notes. These included entertainment (41 per cent on mobile compared to 26 per cent on television), information access (58 per cent on mobile compared to 20 per cent on television), communication (not surprisingly, 72 per cent on mobile compared to 16 per cent on desktop and laptops) and shopping or searching for products online (27 per cent on mobile compared to 19 per cent on desktop and laptops).

Potential

According to the survey, developing countries such as India outscored nations such as South Korea, Singapore and Australia on mobile centricity, a measure of relative importance of mobile compared to other media in these markets.

Atul Satija, vice-president and managing director of InMobi, said: “The results underline the sweeping changes that we have seen in media consumption habits, globally and more so in India.” Businesses that would succeed in the next three to five years would be those that were able to exploit this medium to its full potential, he added.