'Wireless Webbers' live digital lifestyle

Oct 25, 2005

"Wireless Webbers" are more likely to lead an entirely digital lifestyle compared to more standard Netsurfers.

Research released Tuesday by market-research group Ipsos Insight reports that persons accessing the Web wirelessly "are particularly likely to invest in a wide range of products and services tied to consumption of digital content." The Ipsos survey reported that these "wireless Webbers" are much more likely than those relying on wired broadband or dialup to own and use digital content products and services, "making them a powerfully concentrated ad target."

"Wireless access is a marker for 'digital innovators,' the high-index investors in digital lifestyle," said Todd Board, senior vice president of Ipsos Insight's Technology & Communications practice.

"From the standpoint of Tech advertisers, wireless Webbers exhibit a very targetable behavior over time, coupled with a desirable advertising profile," he said. "The specific 'marker behavior' they exhibit can be much more useful than the classic proxies used to drive media plans, such as demographic and broad media profiles."

According to the Ipsos survey, wireless Netsurfing is strongly correlated with the use of such products and services as wireless home networks, digital cable, DVRs, projection TVs, hi-fi DVDs, dual-disc CDs and gaming consoles; and greater digital portability, including notebook PCs, CD/DVD burners, MP3 players, camcorder, PDAs and personal entertainment devices. This wireless access in turn means access to broader digital content such as subscription to music services, satellite radio and online gaming.

The report added that these wireless Webbers are also more likely than others to use Voice over Internet Protocol telephone service. Also, the Webbers are more likely to purchase a fairly wide range of big ticket and/or "media immersion" investments -- flat panel and HDTVs, Mac computers and desktops, media servers and dual-disc CDs, Ipsos found.

"These results don't mean that wireless access 'causes' greater use of these various products and services, but that use of these products and services tends to catalyze and reinforce demand for others," Board noted.

Though more likely to have a post-graduate degree, the Webbers are not overly affluent. Those using wireless access cut across a number of demographic groups, Ipsos said. According to the report, a gender breakdown of Webbers shows that 51 percent are male and 49 percent are female.

"The demographic profiles of wireless Webbers is strikingly similar to the overall Web audience, underscoring the common fact -- too little acknowledged -- that so often 'surface' descriptors like demographics do a lousy job of anticipating either behaviors or underlying needs and motivations."

According to Board, "It's going to be a delicate negotiation with consumers. As the Web and wireless technology converge further, we'll see more interesting steps in the 'audience-access dance,' like the Yahoo-MSN instant messaging agreement, and Google and Comcast exploring AOL."

In related research, analytics firms Intelliseek reported Monday that iPod owners are "significantly" more likely to create and spread consumer-generated media on the Internet.

The research firm said this trend is likely to increase with the incorporation of video content into iPods.

According to Intelliseek's 2005 Consumer-Generated Media and Behavior Study, iPod users are twice as likely to have authored a blog than consumers who do not own MP3 players, and they outpace other MP3 owners in creating and posting content online. iPod users are also 2.5 times as likely to exchange text messages on cellular phones, three times as likely to take photos with a camera phone, and three times as likely to download video clips and movies to a personal computer.

The Intelliseek study also reported that iPod users are "product innovators," significantly more likely to own digital video recorders, personal digital assistants, digital cameras, laptop computers and cell phones than non-iPod owners.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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