Nielsen unveils first findings from IAB mobile panel

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 7 May 2015

Nielsen has unveiled the findings from the pilot of its mobile measurement panel commissioned by the IAB.

Speaking at technology conference CeBIT this week John Price director - media industry group for Nielsen, said that 2500 people have taken part in the pilot, which saw software installed on the users phone which tracks what they viewed on their mobile device and for how long.

Price said the numbers from both the IAB pilot and the latest Nielsen connected consumer survey indicated that mobile usage was well and truly on the up, however there was now some more concrete numbers around when mobile ownership would surpass that of desktop.

Smartphone ownership will surpass laptops over the next two years Price said and he outlined that according to the findings from the Nielsen Mobile Ratings survey for March 2015, 12.3 million Australians are accessing content on mobile and they're doing it for 35 hours over a month and 7.1 million are accessing content on their tablet devices for an average of 25 hours.

This is additional connected time to what people consume on desktop.

“We’re actually for the first time since tablets came out in 2009, seeing a plateau for tablets, and smartphones we expect to keep growing,” Price said.

While it is unsurprising that when it comes to what people look at on mobile, social tops the list, but out of the top 10 content people are viewing on mobile, gaming makes up the bulk of the list.

According to the Mobile Ratings figures 52% of smartphone screen time during March was spent on social networking sites or on gaming apps.

Price said the panel highlighted that people wanted content on mobile that centred around connection, entertainment, empowering people and complimenting them and he said that the entertainment piece was one of the strongest.

“The brands that are shaping their content around one or all of these key themes are doing really well,” he said. “One of these themes that is really big is entertainment, even when I saw this data it really shocked me.”

Price added that the point of this data wasn't to encourage brands to race out and make another Candy Crush but rather think about what consumers are engaging with on mobile and what keeps them glued to those small screens.

“The point here is in terms of the entertainment factor, if you're not producing any type of entertainment factor with your consumers, whether your a content producer or whether your a brand like Australia Post, if your looking at any of those kind of interactions have a look at that opportunity, because the time that you're asking for on those devices from your consumer you're actually competing with those things [games and social] as well,” Price said.

The IAB recently revealed that spend on mobile now attracts a larger piece of the advertising pie than outdoor, magazines and metro radio, with CEO of the IAB Alice Manners saying at the time: ““Where we're at with mobile is we're beyond that gut feel of: 'Yes mobile is big', those of us who've had to live through 'it's the year of the mobile', it's beyond that,” she said.

“Revenue has started to follow consumer usage. Last year we had a lot of Australian publishers with over 50% of their traffic coming from mobile, but the ad revenues didn't really follow that. Now we're seeing that catch up start to happen,” she added.

While there is no exact date for when the full data set will be released, the panel has been in the works for the past few months with the creation of the measurement panel - a key task given to Nielsen after it took out the tender process being named by the IAB as a partner for the project.

Regarding the launch date Nielsen commented: “IAB Australia is conducting an ongoing review of this new dataset during May – we expect to announce a launch date once that review is completed.”

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