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M:Metrics: Britains Reality TV Craze Fuels Text Message Voting

Brits’ use of text voting is nearly double that of Germans’

LONDON–March 6, 2006– I’m a text voter, get me out of here! The reality TV craze sweeping the UK has reached the mobile industry, according to M:Metrics’ latest figures. The measurement firm’s January Benchmark Survey found that 21.8 percent of British mobile subscribers (8.9 million) voted in a TV or radio poll in a month during the quarter ended January 2006, compared with 12.1 percent of German (5 million) and 7 percent of U.S. (12.3 million), mobile subscribers.

M:Metrics data reinforces the fact that text messaging is ubiquitous in Europe. Approximately 83.6 percent and 79.2 percent of British and German mobile phone users respectively sent a text message in a month. Whereas Germans have embraced SMS as a means to receive news and information with as much vigour as their British counterparts, at about 7 percent each; the British are far more likely to use the technology to opine about a television or radio show.

“The prevalence of reality television shows such as I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Big Brother and X-Factor in the UK is clearly changing mobile phone behaviour,” said Paul Goode a senior analyst from M:Metrics. “TV programmers around the globe have been seeking new ways to engage with their audiences using various interactive platforms, and clearly, the British have chosen to use their mobile phones, turning reality TV into a truly cross-medium interactive event.”

M:Metrics measures the consumption of mobile content and applications and benchmarks the performance of mobile operators, device manufacturers, platform providers and publishers using a multi-dimensional methodology that includes the largest monthly surveys of mobile subscribers in the U.S, the U.K. and Germany. The following are the results of its Benchmark Surveys in the U.K. and Germany for the quarter ending 31 January 2006.

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U.K. Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications
M:Metrics Benchmark Survey: January 2006
Activity Projected Monthly Reach (000s) Percent U.K. Mobile Subscribers
Sent Text Message 34,266 83.6
Used Photo Messaging 10,613 25.9
Retrieved News and Information 4,756 11.6
Purchased Ringtone 2,780 6.8
Used Personal E-mail 2,561 6.2
Downloaded Mobile Game 1,679 4.1
Purchased Wallpaper or Screensaver 1,060 2.6
Used Mobile Instant Messenger 1,319 3.2
Used Work E-mail 1,175 2.9
Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright © 2006. Survey of U.K. mobile subscribers. Data based on three-month moving average for period ending 31 January 2006, n= 18,641

German Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications
M:Metrics Benchmark Survey: January 2006
Activity Projected Monthly Reach (000s) Percent German Mobile Subscribers
Sent Text Message 33,284 79.2
Used Photo Messaging 7,922 18.9
Purchased Ringtone 3,073 7.3
Used Personal E-mail 2,585 6.2
Retrieved News and Information 1,682 4
Purchased Wallpaper or Screensaver 1,364 3.2
Used Work E-mail 1,151 2.7
Used Mobile Instant Messenger 1,153 2.7
Downloaded Mobile Game 1,014 2.4
Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright © 2006. Survey of German mobile subscribers. Data based on three-month moving average for period ending 31 January 2006, n= 18,594

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