JiWire’s Second Mobile Audience Insights Report

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

A new study from San Francisco-based JiWire notes a 75% increase in mobile phones using premium Wi-Fi locations, and that 81% of business travelers spend over 30 minutes online in airports

JiWire, the mobile audience media company reaching over 20 million unique users per month across its Wi-Fi media channel, released its second Mobile Audience Insights Report with new information on Wi-Fi usage trends for Q3 2009. The report also includes findings from a survey among Wi-Fi customers in airports across the U.S., helping advertisers understand this unique segment of the on-the-go audience that largely consists of affluent business decision makers.

The study found that airport business travelers are connecting via Wi-Fi for a significant amount of time online while waiting for their flight Not only do 81% spend over 30 minutes online, but 32% spend over an hour online.

Among the 72% of the airport audience comprised of business travelers with highly desirable demographics:

  • 50% travel at least once a month;
  • Over half hold an executive or management position;
  • Over half have annual household incomes of over $100,000;
  • And 75% of all airport Wi-Fi customers plan to make a big-ticket purchase in the next 12 months.

“Business travelers are a highly coveted audience for both business and consumer-oriented advertisers due to their purchasing power, but are traditionally very difficult to reach,” says David Staas, JiWire’s senior vice-president marketing. “Our latest Insights report provides more in-depth information for marketers about this nationwide audience, as well as highlighting global trends as Wi-Fi continues to become the preferred method for on-the-go connectivity.”

Noting recently that Google has apparently increased its interest in mobile use in airports by offering free WiFi access at 47 airports for the rest of the year, we asked JiWire management its thoughts on this apparent new encroachment on its own offerings.

“We’re thrilled with the increased level of interest major advertisers are showing in leveraging Wi-Fi to reach on-the-go audiences,” says Staas. “Since we launched this innovative program earlier this year, we continue to run numerous Ads for Access campaigns with major brands. Advertisers clearly like the opportunity to engage a unique audience with a great value exchange between the consumer and the brand, in effect transforming advertising into a form of currency.

“In addition, this level of activity reinforces how important Wi-Fi is becoming to people’s everyday lives – as they spend more time on the go, as their need to stay connected increases, as more Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices enter the market, and as the convenience and speed of Wi-Fi becomes even more ubiquitous.” (Ed. Note: We’re not quite sure from this that JiWire is ‘thrilled’, nevertheless. We did note that JiWire now offers free WiFi access in hotels and airports to Google-rival Bing – see separate article – and it appears that JiWire/Bing made the first move.)

JiWire’s study showed that, continuing the trend seen in the first half of the year, the use of mobile devices to connect to Wi-Fi locations grew 75% from Q3, with the top mobile devices iPhone and iPod Touch combing to make up about 95% of mobile ad requests. Devices built on the Android operating system emerged in the number four spot, while the Palm Pre continued to see growth and remained ranked at number five, similar to last quarter. Number 3 was Sony PSP, a game devce.

The report also shows the overall number of public Wi-Fi locations is growing rapidly, with 18.8% year-to-date expansion in worldwide public Wi-Fi hotspot locations. In the last five years, the number of Wi-Fi locations has grown by 425%.

In addition to growth in locations, people are using Wi-Fi on an increasing basis, with visits to US locations increasing 11.4% percent quarter over quarter. Hotels continue to have the largest amount of Wi-Fi visits with 65.5% market share, while airports were the quickest growing venue in Q3 2009, with visits up 23.2% over last quarter.

JiWire’s new Report is based on data from approximately 280,000 public Wi-Fi hotspot locations, as well as surveying 2,644 customers randomly selected in over 80 airport locations across the US that used JiWire’s Wi-Fi Media Channel in between June and July 2009. In addition, JiWire serves advertisements to over 30,000 pubic Wi-Fi hotspots in North America and records data from every ad request.

The Mobile Audience Insight Report is available for download on JiWire’s Website at www.jiwire.com.

One Response to “JiWire’s Second Mobile Audience Insights Report”

  1. Steve Gurley Says:

    Don’t forget the implications of this on digital signage. The increase in WiFi utilization is all a part of the new mobile revolution, which will have a profound impact on digital signage. As the foundations for mobile marketing improve, e.g. better devices, more ubiquitous broadband access, more mobile commerce, more robust ap’s, etc., the competition for ad dollars will increase dramatically. Remember, with mobile technologies, you can increasingly measure and report when, where, and how people interact with an ad.

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