Study: Free Still Favorite Price for Mobile Apps

logo_interpret_whiteThe continued proliferation of social networks, further growth of streaming video and the domination of free mobile apps in the marketplace. No surprises there. But taking a closer look at the quarterly New Media Measure study issued by Interpret reveals a number of less obvious trends in media behaviors, device ownership, attitudes and product consumption.

Social networking shows no hints of waning popularity, as usage of social networks has increased 20 percent from the first quarter of 2009. Facebook remains the leader, growing 33% over the past year. Facebook has also become a boon for casual gaming, eclipsing Yahoo! as the most visited gaming site among casual gamers – 28% in the past month have played a game on Facebook (versus 21% for Yahoo!).

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Social networking has also penetrated the mobile landscape, as New Media Measure shows a 36% increase of cell phone users who have updated content or posted a status update on a social network. Many of these updates are likely through mobile apps, and Interpret finds that 80% of apps downloaded in a typical week are free.

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The study found that not only have consumers been streaming more movies and TV shows than a year ago (12% and 5% more, respectively), but Netflix has greatly increased its share of the streaming video market, up 36% from the first quarter of 2009. Streaming continues to be the dominant method for consuming content online, as downloading TV and movies has remained flat.

The quantity and quality of streaming outlets may have helped curb piracy, as the incidence of illegal downloading of movies (9%) and TV shows (7%) is well below that of music (20%). Consumers claim the convenience and ease of use, as well as the lack of funds to pay for entertainment, are the main reasons they are driven to file-sharing.

“New media behaviors such as social networking and online video consumption have true staying power,” said Josh Bell, Executive Director, Interpret LLC. “No passing fad, consumers are already weaving these activities into the fabric of their daily lives, and it is all happening extremely fast. Moreover, consumers appear to be turning to legal modes of content distribution, suggesting consumers see tangible value in the experiences video content providers are offering.”

New Media Measureâ„¢ is Interpret LLC’s proprietary, quarterly survey of media behaviors, attitudes and product consumption. The company states that New Media Measure supplies the means to better measure and keep track of fast-changing consumer behaviors. Surveyed are 9,000 consumers aged 12-65, representative of the U.S. population and weighted to U.S. Census. Data collected includes: demographics, psychographics, brand consumption, traditional media consumption, online and social networking, mobile phone, video gaming, and digital entertainment.