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Glu Challenges Mobile Myths With New Consumer Survey

New research into UK mobile subscribers sheds light on how people use their phones for gaming and entertainment

Glu Mobile, a leading creator and global publisher of mobile entertainment, today revealed the results of a new survey into consumers' preferences for downloading and using mobile entertainment content. The survey found that the youth market is the fastest growing sector of the mobile entertainment industry, with 29% of 16-24 year olds using their phone as a gaming device.

"Although many of us still view mobile phones as a recent technology, there is a growing generation of consumers who have known and used mobiles throughout their lives. Our research demonstrated the frequency with which younger consumers text, MMS and play games versus than older mobile phone users," said Kristian Segerstrale, managing director emea, Glu.

"The image of the classic gamer as 18 to 35 and predominantly male is a myth for mobile - in truth, mobile gamers are much younger and just as many women as men play on their phone. The mobile games industry needs to sharpen its marketing focus to reflect these trends if we are to continue growing the audience for rich and exciting mobile entertainment content."

Mobile gaming is a mass-market pastime

Despite the perception in some of the traditional media that mobile phone gaming has yet to really catch on, Glu's research showed that a significant number of UK consumers play games on their phone. When asked about their mobile gaming habits, the survey found:

  • Almost 16% of phone owners regularly use their mobiles to play games
  • This rises to 29% amongst the more gaming and content-savvy 16-24 age group
  • Gaming is the fourth most popular activity people use their phones for, behind voice calls, texting and taking photographs
  • 5.8% of all UK adults have purchased a mobile game for their phone at some time

Youth is a key driver of the mobile games market

Glu's research has confirmed that younger users are the most comfortable downloading and using multimedia content. Especially for those consumers in the 16-24 age group, mobile phones are being used as a take-anywhere entertainment device; where users are just as likely to take a video or play a game as make a phone call. Glu found that:

  • 19% of 16-24 year olds have purchased games for their handset - that's double the number of people who have downloaded a game amongst users aged 25-34
  • The 16-24 age group is the most content-savvy, making more use of a phone's high end functions and multimedia capabilities than any other age group
  • 36% of 16-24 year olds plan to buy the same or more mobile entertainment in 2006, and 23% are hoping to upgrade their handsets this Christmas

Consumers rank price and quality above brands

The survey also confirms that mobile entertainment generally is still a price-driven market, with cost influencing the majority of purchase decisions. 16-24 years olds, however, are much less influenced by cost: price is the most important consideration only in 50% of sales in this age group. It appears that marketing also works much harder within this demographic, specifically the way is it designed and presented, as 35% of 16-24 year olds said they would buy entertainment content because of the way it looks, versus 25% who would choose based on a featured brand. The survey also showed that:

  • Price is the most important consideration for 62% of consumers when choosing entertainment content. Further to this, 79% of consumers have never paid more than £4 for mobile entertainment content. 16% have paid a maximum of £7; 1.5% up to £10; and 4% more than £10
  • Only 12% of consumers are encouraged to buy entertainment content because of an attached brand. This increases to 25% of 16-24 year olds
  • The look and feel of content was the second most important factor for consumers when choosing content. Almost 22% put this as a reason for choosing content, rising to 27% of 25-34 year olds and 35% of 16-24 year olds

Methodology

The research was conducted by Tickbox.net and is the result of responses from a representative sample of more than 1,000 UK mobile users aged 16 and over, drawn from a member panel of over 50,000 people. Excerpts of the research are available to members of the media on request.

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About Glu Mobile

Glu Mobile (formerly Sorrent, Inc. and Macrospace Ltd.) is a leading developer and global publisher of mobile entertainment. Glu's portfolio of games, ringtones, wallpapers and information applications include both original titles and entertainment based on major brands including Atari, Cartoon Network, FOX Sports, PopCap Games, Twentieth Century Fox and Celador International. Based in San Mateo, California with offices in London and Hong Kong, Glu is funded by top venture firms NEA, BA Venture Partners, Granite Global Ventures, Sienna Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners, and by Time Warner Investments. Consumers can find fresh entertainment created exclusively for their mobile phones wherever they see the 'g' character logo or at www.glu.com.

About Tickbox.net

Tickbox.net is a leading market research organisation, carrying out consumer, corporate and niche market surveys online amongst a 50,000+ member panel. Tickbox.net is a member of the BMRA (British Market Research Association), follows the codes of the MRS (Market Research Society) and is fully registered and compliant with the Data Protection Registrar, as well as being the preferred research supplier of the PRCA (Public Relations Consultants Association).

GLU MOBILE, GLU, and the 'g' character logo are trademarks of Glu Mobile.

For more information please contact:

For UK

Charlotte Fox, Luke Geoghegan or Dean Barrett

Bastion

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7490 1323

Email: firstname@bastion.co.uk

For Europe

John Ozimek

Head of marketing and communications, EMEA

Glu Mobile

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7368 1122

Email: john.ozimek@glu.com

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GamesIndustry International

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GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.

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