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A quarter of US Android phone users drive data traffic: study

Android phone users

Nearly a quarter of Android smartphone users in the United States account for more than half of the nation’s Android data traffic, broadening marketers’ options for targeting audiences through behavioral data, according to a new study.

Strategy Analytics’ analysis of U.S. Android smartphone users’ data consumption profiles reveals three distinct categories of power users. Nearly two-thirds are moderate users who consume 50 to 300 megabytes per day, 23 percent are power users (more than 300 MB daily), and 15 percent are light users (less than 50 MB per day).

“A core set of apps define these segments,” said Bonny Joy, chief, consumer telemetry platforms, for Newton, MA-based Strategy Analytics. “For instance, as a proportion of use, light users tend to spend more time with communication apps, moderate users on social apps, and power users on video apps. 

“For the advertising industry this implies [that] you now have more options to target your audience through behavioral data,” he said.

Telemetry application
Power Users account for 57 percent of the traffic, followed by moderate users with 41 percent, and light users with just 2 percent. The findings fit with earlier reports showing that Android’s heaviest users are intensely engaged with mobile.

The report’s data estimates include combined activity on Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

The findings are based on a study during the first half of the year of more than one million individual application sessions on more than 1,500 U.S. Android smartphone users. Strategy Analytics gathered the data through its AppOptix consumer telemetry platform, which leveraged three core components – a best-in-class telemetry application, an opt-in panel and big data analytics framework – to support its analysis.

Consumer telemetry is the collecting, storing, transmitting and assembling of data via software-based sensors to enable the observation of interactions between consumers and their mobile devices. 

AppOptix addresses the nuances of consumer behavior through dashboards, reports and analyst insights on device brands, operators, models, and apps.      

Heavy users
The report comes on the heels of Strategy Analytics’ findings last month that U.S. Android smartphone users spent 39 percent of their on-device use between 5 pm and midnight, based on AppOptix data. 

It also showed peak use varying across categories.  News, weather and sports-related applications had higher engagement early in the morning while the communication category led afternoon usage and social and games had peak engagement in the evening. 

The data showed that publishers and content providers need to pay particular attention in driving content and features that are relevant across category sweet-spots.


Nexus 5 phone promotion on Android.com.

The new study raises implications for how wireless providers might market service plans, handset portfolio and content selection and attract new subscribers.
 
“For long the industry has been following the 80:20 rule, where 80 percent of the market can be addressed by just 20 percent of your products and services,” said Mr. Joy, who is responsible for the design, development, and implementation of the AppOptix platform. 

“But with new methods in research, we now have the ability to analyze, optimize, and package service plans that resonate with the subscriber at an individual level.
 
“We are seeing some early trends in the market in this direction, where customers can avail service and plans according to their usage requirements,” he said. “For example, the T-Mobile unlimited streaming music plan offers a better value for someone who is heavy on music, than going with a generic tiered data plans where the user is always counting his or her usage against the purchased plan.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Marketer, New York.

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Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.

 
Related content: Research, Android, Strategy Analytics, Bonny Joy, mobile, mobile marketing, mobile commerce

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