MEF Global Consumer Survey Indicates Mobile Content and Commerce Behaviors Maturing in Developed Markets with Growth Economies Driving Mobile Adoption

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Survey polls almost 15,000 mobile media users in 15 countries across five continents.

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"in developed markets there has been a fundamental shift in consumer behaviors...confidence in data privacy and security are now crucial."

MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce, today published the results of its fourth annual Global Consumer Survey, charting consumer behavior patterns across areas such as mHealth, mobile education, banking, the apps economy and entertainment. This year’s report is the largest ever, surveying almost 15,000 mobile media users in 15 countries across five continents, with a new executive summary available here.

The survey was carried out in association with On Device Research and supported by MEF members AVG Technologies, Ooredoo and TIMWE. It shows globally that mobile content and commerce activity rose slightly in 2014 from 65 to 66 percent, fuelled by strong gains in growth markets. In fact, growth markets were found to have made significant gains and are driving much of this global growth in 2014. For example, Brazil grew from 49 to 61 percent and Indonesia from 69 to 79 percent. China and India each enjoyed five percentage points of growth.

Mobile-first regions are also driving mobile innovation with accelerated adoption of relatively new areas of mobile such as mHealth, banking and education. In UAE, 62 percent have seen a mobile device used in a public health environment, versus the average of 44 percent. Africa remains the world leader in mobile banking, with 85 percent of consumers there having used their mobile to carry out a banking transaction when the global average is 69 percent.

The study also identifies a continued and discernible shift in the purchasing of digital goods as consumers embrace an era of Mobile 3.0. In developed markets while the study found the overall activity growth curve to be flattening, consumers are engaging via mobile as part of their everyday lives.

In 2013, purchases of digital content were 22 percent higher than mCommerce activity for physical products. In 2014, the difference between the two purchase groups shrank significantly to just 13 percent globally, and in developed markets such as the US and UK, the gap between them is even closer with, the difference is just 9 and 5 percent respectively.

A lack of trust remains the biggest obstacle to more people purchasing via their mobile. Thirty-four percent of respondents cited trust-related issues, a rise of 4 percent from 2013. This is also affecting sales of new phones and tablets. When asked what they took into account when buying a new device, four in ten named security and privacy.

Other headlines from the study include:

  • Gaming and social networking continue to dominate the app space. Games are up one point to 55 percent and social media apps downloads the second most popular at 48 percent.
  • Utility was the category of apps that made the highest gains. Use of weather apps was up six percent, and navigation/travel and utility apps – up three percent each.
  • Mobile banking continues its upward trajectory. In 2011, 57 percent of people conducted 'some form of mobile banking'. This year the number was 69 percent.
  • Second screening is all but ubiquitous, with 94 percent using another form of media while browsing on their phones.

Andrew Bud, MEF Global Chair commented, “MEF’s annual study reveals two significant insights for the industry. Firstly, it identifies the incredible opportunity that growth markets present – their adoption of new mobile services spectacularly outpaces the rest of the world.”

He added, “Secondly, it shows that in developed markets there has been a fundamental shift in consumer behaviors and perceptions. Mobile has evidently grown beyond its heritage as a special platform for special transactions to become an everyday part of consumers’ lives. Confidence in data privacy and security are now crucial. Users expect a seamless, integrated experience, in a trusted environment. Companies need to deliver that or be left behind.”

About the report
Commissioned by MEF, with analysis from Tim Green, editor-in-chief Mobile Money Revolution and associate editor, Mobile Entertainment. The survey was carried out by On Device Research in Q3 2014, and questioned almost 15,000 mobile media users in 15 countries, namely: US, UK, France, Germany, China, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Indonesia, India, Brazil, Mexico, UAE, Qatar and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The study digs deep into consumer trends and attitudes, providing insight and analysis on their wider industry impact. The report delivers insight that can help both mobile specialists and those who are new to mobile to develop targeted mobile strategies and fully exploit the rich opportunities that mobile provides.

About MEF
MEF is the global community for mobile content and commerce and the leading international trade association for companies wishing to monetize their products and services via mobile. Headquartered in London with operational chapters and offices in Asia, EMEA, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America, MEF is a member network with international reach and strong local representation, ideally placed to drive market growth.

Established in 2000, MEF represents the total mobile ecosystem, providing an impartial and powerful voice for pioneering companies from across the mobile content and commerce value chain. On November 17-19, MEF will host its 2nd annual MEF Global Forum in San Francisco where the findings of this join report will be discussed as part of a 3-day agenda looking at innovation, global growth and monetization. http://www.mefmobile.org

About AVG Technologies
AVG is the online security company providing leading software and services to secure devices, data and people. AVG has over 188 million active users, as of September 30, 2014, using AVG’s products and services including Internet security, performance optimization, and personal privacy and identity protection. By choosing AVG’s products, users become part of a trusted global community that engages directly with AVG to provide feedback and offer mutual support to other customers. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. http://www.avg.com

About TIMWE
TIMWE (http://www.timwe.com) is a global provider of mobile enablement solutions, focused on Mobile Marketing, Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Money (mobile payments), Mobile Government and Internet of Things/M2M. Operating in more than 75 markets in five continents, managed through 27 offices, TIMWE has a strong presence in its core Latin American market and is rapidly expanding in a number of countries in Africa, the Asia Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East.

About Ooredoo
Ooredoo is a leading international communications company delivering mobile, fixed, broadband internet and corporate managed services tailored to the needs of consumers and businesses across markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. As a community-focused company, Ooredoo is guided by its vision of enriching people’s lives and its belief that it can stimulate human growth by leveraging communications to help people achieve their full potential. Ooredoo has a presence in markets such as Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Tunisia, Iraq, Palestine, the Maldives, Myanmar and Indonesia. The company was named “Best Mobile Operator of the Year” at the World Communication Awards 2013.
The company reported revenues of US$9.3 billion in 2013 and had a consolidated global customer base of more than 95 million people as of 31 December 2013. Ooredoo’s shares are listed on the Qatar Exchange and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. http://www.ooredoo.com

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