Thursday, January 20, 2011

Web-based Email Shows Signs of Decline in the U.S. While Mobile Email Usage on the Rise

comScore, Inc, a leader in measuring the digital world, released results from a study on U.S. consumers’ evolving email behaviors using data from its comScore Media Metrix and MobiLens services. The study found that in November 2010, the number of visitors to web-based email sites declined 6 percent compared to the previous year, while email engagement declined at an even greater rate. During the same time period, the number of users accessing email via their mobile devices grew by 36 percent as an increasingly complex digital environment influenced consumers’ communication habits.

An analysis of web-based email trends revealed that fewer Americans visited web-based email destinations and spent less time doing so versus last year. In November 2010, more than 153 million people visited web-based email providers, decreasing 6 percent from the previous year. In terms of engagement, overall time spent in the email category declined 9 percent, while total pages viewed dropped 15 percent. Despite such declines, however, it should be noted that email remains one of the most popular activities on the web, reaching more than 70 percent of the U.S online population each month.

While web-based email has witnessed a decline over the past year, email usage via mobile devices has experienced significant growth, driven largely by increased smartphone adoption. In November 2010, 70.1 million mobile users (30 percent of all mobile subscribers) accessed email on their mobile, an increase of 36 percent from the previous year. Daily usage of email showed an even greater increase growing 40 percent as 43.5 million users turned to their mobile devices on a nearly daily basis for their email communication needs.

Accessing mobile email increased by double-digits across all age segments. Younger age groups showed a higher probability of accessing email from their mobile devices compared to older segments. Persons age 25-34 were 60 percent more likely to access email than an average mobile user, with those between the ages of 18-24 being 46 percent more likely to do so, representing the two age segments with the highest propensity. Overall, males were 14 percent more likely to be users of mobile email.

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