Chart: Mobile Business Booms, Data Use Surges To 48 Percent


Credit: Pandora

We all know how significant mobile has become as a channel for online businesses that are not inherently mobile properties — we see that trend getting played out every day.

Investment bank Rutberg & Co. has passed on to us a chart that pulls together some of the more striking examples of just how important this is already for some of the internet’s biggest brands. Meanwhile, some new numbers out from the UK-based Enders Analysis underscore the continuing growth in mobile data usage…

Rutberg has released this data (embedded below the post) on the eve of the investment bank’s annual Future:Mobile conference. (This year it is being held in San Francisco, June 16-17.)

It shows significant mobile muscle from some players. Pandora (NYSE: P), which has just listed, is sending over 60 percent of its music streams to mobile devices, and more than 60 percent of new users are coming from the mobile platform. Facebook’s mobile users are twice as active as those accessing from PCs (which makes it all the more crazy that Facebook hasn’t tried to monetize that yet).

Some, however, are doing less here than you would think: YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG) still only gets 10 percent of its traffic from mobile devices, for example.

Given Rutberg’s own emphasis on private companies in the mobile sector — more specifically, Rajeev Chand, the MD and head of research for the company, tells us Rutberg monitors private companies that are 50 percent or more mobile, “i.e., principally mobile from the start” — we also think it shows the potential for acquisitions by/partnerships with/business from these larger, public players.

But more generally, Chand believes that we may have reached the point in time that it has become a “‘foregone conclusion’ that everything will be mobile,” he told us via email. “I don’t think it makes sense to classify a company as mobile anymore. Everything is mobile to some degree.”

He also noted that in Rutberg’s analysis at the moment 44 percent of technology VC funding is “principally mobile from the start.” (We have covered some more of Rutberg’s research into mobile VC investments here.)

“Our thesis is that mobile computing will change the way consumers and enterprises operate in every industry,” he said. “The key is cross-platform experiences, across digital screens and between physical and digital worlds.”

On the other side of the pond, in the UK, Enders Analysis has put out some findings from a survey today that also spells out the mobile opportunity, but from the perspective of users rather than that of the mobile strategies of online businesses.

It notes that in the UK, some 48 percent mobile users now use a data service at least once per month, compared to only 30 percent last year. Enders puts the growth down to the boom in smartphones.

Even with that surge of growth in smartphones, we have yet to see a dilution in terms of how much and how often they get used. In other words, midterm-adopters seem just as keen as early adopters when it comes to data usage. All of them are at 90 percent and higher, says Enders, and that covers all ages and all socio-economic groups. The biggest growth in data usage penetration came on the Android and BlackBerry platforms (presumably because the iPhone already had such a high data usage ratio already).

Enders’ conclusion is that the phones are very user friendly after all which bodes well for continuing growth ahead.

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