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Differences in PC and Mobile Internet Usage

ComScore reported the results of the first study of its cross-media panel of PC and mobile Internet users in the U.S., finding that light PC Internet users are 30 percent more likely than heavy PC Internet users to use their mobile devices to access Internet content.

In total, 42 million people used their mobile devices in October 2008 to access news and information content on the Internet, an increase of 57 percent from October 2007.

The study found that 15.2 percent of light PC Internet users accessed news and information on their mobile device at least once per week, compared to a lower 11.7 percent of heavy PC Internet users. For the purposes of this study, comScore defined heavy PC Internet users as those who viewed, on average, 6,701 pages in the month, and light users as those who viewed, on average, 1,104 pages in the month.

Twenty percent of PC Internet users in the cross-media panel were classified as heavy users, and accounted for 43 percent of overall page views, while 50 percent were light users and accounted for 18 percent of page views. The balance was classified as medium users.

The findings affirm that mobile Internet users comprise a substantial segment of the population, and suggest that a significant portion of these people are using mobile to supplement their at-home online media usage.

The study also found that mobile Internet users are more likely to be male (58 percent) and to be 18 to 44 years of age. Possibly reflecting this demographic skew, heavy mobile Internet users show a high engagement with Web sites that provide information that is appealing to people with more active lifestyles:

- Regional / local content
- Entertainment
- Sports information

In contrast, light mobile Internet users are heavier users of the PC to access Internet content and are heavily engaged with the following types of Internet content:

- Education
- Conversational Media
- Travel
- Business / Finance
- Retail

The study was conducted using a sample of individuals who were members of comScore's PC panel of online users and who were also participants in comScore's monthly mobile survey. The findings above represent digital media usage for the three-month average ending October 2008.

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