Yahoo Remains Leading Brand in US Mobile Content...For Now (YHOO, GOOG)

Includes: AABA, GOOG
by: Evelyn Rubin

According to research published by M:Metrics, Yahoo is the leading brand in the US for mobile content. In the last quarter of 2005, 12.8 million U.S. mobile subscribers accessed Yahoo's services in an average month - 4 million more than second-place AOL.

Key observations from the study:

  • Instant Messaging Drives Users: According to Mark Donovan, VP Products and Senior Analyst at M:Metrics, AOL's strength derives from its strong IM user base (89% of mobile reach uses AIM, compared with 73% of Yahoo IM users). "[AOL's] challenge is to demonstrate that it can use AIM as the foundation to engage users with a broader base of services, much as it is seeking to do on the desktop by opening access to its portal and e-mail services and linking these with AIM."
  • Sports News Wins: ESPN had the most mobile content users followed by Yahoo and CNN. Will Yahoo maintain its dominance in news content? Unlikely, as the destination sites grab more share, and media players such as Gannett take stronger positions in mobile content.
  • Google Not Yet Undisputed King of Mobile Search: Google's advantage over Yahoo in mobile search is still marginal, while Yahoo outperforms Google in maps and directories. Let's see what happens next quarter following both players' announcements at CES: the launch of Yahoo Go and the initiation of Google's search partnership with Motorola.
  • Mobile Content Brand Reach
    Weather Brand Subscribers (000s)
    The Weather Channel/ 4,127
    Yahoo! 2,813
    Google 1,513
    Accuweather 1,300
    Weatherbug 1,161
    News Brand Subscribers (000s)
    ESPN Sports News 4,934
    Yahoo! 4,599
    CNN/ 4,514
    Fox Sports 2,462 2,189
    Search Brand Subscribers (000s)
    Google 4,538
    Yahoo! 3,975
    MSN Mobile/MSNBC 1,324
    AOL Mobile 1,039
    Don't Know 582
    Map/Directory Service Brand Subscribers (000s)
    Yahoo! 3,793
    Mapquest 3,048
    Google 3,03
    Yellow Pages 2,128
    Moviefone 1,907
    Source: M:Metrics, Inc. Copyright 2006. Three-month moving average ending December 31, 2005, n=35,056.

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