Entertainment drives BRIC mobile Internet growth

According to Nielsen, entertainment, gaming, and music websites rank among the top five categories visited in all four BRIC countries, but do not have a place among the top US and Europe rankings.

Email, weather, news, and search are the top categories for both American and European mobile Internet users; in the US, entertainment, music, and games place eighth, ninth, and tenth respectively. The findings suggest that mobile Internet users across BRIC countries are more reliant on mobile phones to provide them with entertainment content, while users across the United States and Europe view their devices as a resource for information.

"In the US and Europe, broad access to media and entertainment has been available for decades through a large fixed distribution infrastructure, and more recently in specialised devices like iPods, to meet consumer's entertainment needs," said Jeff Herrmann, vice president of mobile media at Nielsen. "Users in the growing Brazil, Russia, India, and China markets haven't had the benefit of broad-based content distribution thereby limiting their exposure, and are filling the service gap by embracing mobile's transition into a personal entertainment platform."

The research also reveals that mobile Internet continues to gain traction worldwide. More than 11 per cent of Russian mobile users have accessed the Internet on their mobile device, trailing only the US, UK and Italy. At 6.8 per cent, China's mobile Internet penetration is on par with Germany's, and although Brazil and India trail the rest of the pack, penetration in the two countries is an important first step towards wider adoption.

"Mobile fills an important access gap in nations where Internet access is not always readily available in homes and schools," said Herrmann. "The development and uptake of mobile data services will have a tremendous positive impact on economies like Brazil, Russia, India and China."

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