M:Metrics Reports That in Battle of Portals Yahoo! Has Early Lead in Mobile Domain | MMA
February 13, 2006



M:Metrics Reports That in Battle of Portals Yahoo! Has Early Lead in Mobile Domain<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

6.7 percent of mobile subscribers access Yahoo! branded services compared with 4.4 percent for second- place AOL

SEATTLE—January 30, 2006—M:Metrics, the mobile market authority, has found that Yahoo! is the most popular mobile content brand. During the quarter ended December 2005 12.8 million U.S. mobile subscribers accessed Yahoo’s services in an average month – 4 million more than second-place AOL. MSN and Google follow, with about 7 million subscribers accessing their mobile offerings each month during the fourth quarter.

AOL owes its second-place position to its strength in mobile instant messaging (IM).  About 89 percent of its mobile reach is comprised of users of AIM service. Yahoo! users are more likely to access other services, such as news, maps and search in addition to Yahoo IM, which is used by 73 percent of those who used Yahoo! branded services. 

“AOL owes its strong position in the mobile domain to its ability to provide seamless access to AIM buddy lists on handsets through an elegantly designed service and its strong relationships with mobile carriers,” observed Mark Donovan, vice president, products and senior analyst. “Its challenge is to demonstrate that it can use AIM as the foundation to engage users with a broader base of services, much as it is seeking to do on the desktop by opening access to its portal and e-mail services and linking these with AIM.”

ESPN is the most popular source for news among mobile content users, claiming 4.9 million unique users in an average month during the fourth quarter. Interestingly, Yahoo! is on par with CNN as a source of news on the Wireless Web with about 4.5 million subscribers visiting each property on a monthly basis. The Weather Channel is the top source for weather, and Yahoo!, which places second in the Weather category, has twice the audience of Accuweather or Google.

In the bourgeoning market segment of mobile search, Google has extended its dominance on the Web to mobile, but only narrowly, with Yahoo! coming in a close second among the 8.9 million people who used mobile search in December. 

Conversely, in the area of maps and directories, Yahoo edges Google and Mapquest, but by a slim margin. 

“Although these are early days in mobile media, the aggressive efforts
in mobile by Yahoo! and AOL are paying off,” said Donovan. “But it is a
close race, and as traditional media brands put more muscle into their
mobile businesses, we expect that the market will shift.”


M:Metrics surveys 12,000 to14,000 U.S. mobile subscribers monthly to report on the consumption of mobile content and applications and benchmark the performance of carrier, device manufacturers, mobile content publishers and technology providers. The following are the results of its December Benchmark Survey.


About M:Metrics
M:Metrics is the mobile market measurement authority. As the only research firm to measure the audience for mobile media, M:Metrics provides the most accurate metrics on actual mobile content consumption by applying trusted media measurement methodologies to the mobile market. M:Metrics’ monthly syndicated data service gives clients the critical insights and intelligence required to inform smart business strategies and the competitive benchmarks needed to evaluate the performance of competitors and partners. M:Metrics is a private, venture-funded corporation headquartered in Seattle, with offices in San Francisco and London.

About M:Metrics Data
Based on continually refreshed samples of nationally representative mobile phone consumers, M:Metrics reports summarize market size, device reach, and key demographic and mobile phone usage characteristics.

The data presented here is drawn from an extensive survey questionnaire that collects specific device model and carrier subscription information from each month’s sample of mobile phone subscribers, and also drills down into specific details related to current and past usage of various mobile phone applications and content. Data collected from each sample are statistically balanced and projected to the total national population of mobile phone subscribers.

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