Archive for December 4th, 2007

The Nielsen Company released some new statistics about the mobile habits of US tweenagers. The study revealed that 35% of the demo own a mobile phone, 20% use text messaging, 21% use ring and/or answer tones, and 5% use the mobile internet.

Amazingly, what is oft looked at as a “youth channel” remains anything but. The “sweet spot” in US mobile marketing remains the 18-34 segment, with teenagers remaining viable for most mobile entertainment propositions, and the 35-44 year old segment still leaning towards utilitarian uses of SMS and the mobile web.

Remarkably, the tween mobile profile is nearly identical to the 55-64 segment, if only in terms of handset ownership and frequency of mobile data usage… although I am quite sure that the mobile data usage cases of these two segments are quite dissimilar in terms of content, context, and value proposition!

According to, Nokia and Universal Music are adding their names to the long list of firms looking to unseat (or even gain market share on) the Juggernaut that is the Apple iPod / iTunes. The two are “teaming together to offer free 12-month access to music from Universal’s artists to buyer’s of Nokia’s musicphones… people will be able to keep the songs once the free-offer period expires. Nokia wants to get other labels to sign up to the ‘Comes With Music’ product, which it hopes to launch early next year.”

While offering free music isn’t (remotely) a new tactic in the digital music market space, what makes the move somewhat notable is the combination of the world’s largest handset manufacturer with one of the largest music labels. Likely this initiative is in reaction to the iPhone’s European launch, as Nokia tries to defend its turf from an invading, buzzworthy handset. Nokia has reason to be alarmed, as their musicphones have not sold particularly well (even in Europe, a market otherwise dominated by Nokia).

Should the iPhone successfully convert current iPod owners to the new device, suddenly Nokia has a lot bigger problem than an underperforming musicphone unit: Apple will have secured foothold in their core handset market – right in Nokia’s backyard. I would not be suprised to see more, even more aggressive announcements like this moving forward should the Apple iPhone gain traction overseas.