Mobile Entertainment Content Access Soars as Smartphones, Downloads Boom (Exclusive)

Apple Shares iPad Stock Market iPhone - H 2011
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Apple Shares iPad Stock Market iPhone - H 2011

A study by Millennial Media and comScore reveals that mobile users' entertainment consumption increased 82 percent from 2010 to 2011, outpacing a 55 percent increase in smartphones.

Good news for studios, marketers and advertisers alike: Although people might be cutting the cable cord at home, they're taking in more content than ever on their mobile devices.

A new study by Millennial Media and comScore, provided exclusively to The Hollywood Reporter, reveals that the market for mobile entertainment content has soared during the past year. Overall, access to entertainment content -- anything from downloads to streaming music and video to ticket information -- increased 82 percent, which is more than the 55 percent increase in smartphone users. Overall, 42 percent of mobile users have smartphones; 80 percent of entertainment content users have smartphones.

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Downloads of music, movies, TV shows and e-books were the largest segment of digital purchases, with 47 percent of the mobile shoppers having purchased one between December 2010 and December 2011. Tickets to concerts, movies and other events came in third, with 35 percent of buyers springing for at least one purchase from that category. Overall, spending in the entertainment segment grew by 133 percent during the year, which actually placed it as the ninth-highest category. Technology, soaring by 698 percent, took the cake.

There is room for spending growth as well. A vast majority of entertainment content accessed was of the special promotional variety, created with the express purpose of spreading the word and building buzz about an upcoming film or TV show. Of course, successful promotion often leads to later purchases, though those are less easy to measure.

"I think the real trend we’re seeing is that studios and other entertainment advertisers are using mobile to engage consumers through all stages of the purchase funnel," Marcus Startzel, GM of North America at Millennial Media, tells THR. "This definitely includes directly selling over mobile devices, but it also includes steps like running awareness campaigns ahead of premieres and advertising reminders ahead of shows to drive TV tune-in. Additionally, we’re seeing studios develop apps to accompany major releases and then running mobile campaigns to drive adoption."

As for which phones are used most by entertainment content consumers, Android-enabled devices overtook the Apple iOS for the first time in 2011, with 47 percent of impressions. iOS ranked second with 33 percent, while BlackBerry devices had 16 percent of impressions. Tablet devices were used by 22 percent of content consumers.

"The growth of tablets is one of the most exciting trends in mobile today, and tablets present a tremendous opportunity for advertisers," Startzel adds. "Consumers have different content-consumption habits with tablets, and advertisers have a much larger canvas to engage users."