A new research study finds that the mobile feature most desired by young users in Britain is access to the BBC's popular iPlayer streaming video service
Auntie's iPlayer is the most desired mobile service among young UK consumers, a new survey has found.
The BBC's iPlayer, the corporation's online on-demand TV service, came out as the most desired mobile service in research by analyst house CCS Insight, with almost a third (28 per cent) of users saying they would most like to get access to the Beeb's TV and radio programmes on their phone.
iPlayer is currently available on a dozen models of mobile phones, according to the BBC, including five Sony Ericsson devices, three Nokias (NOK) and the iPhone.
Consumers' mobile internet usage is being closely watched as mobile operators look at ways to revitalise their Arpu (average revenue per user) and create new data-oriented business models as voice revenues continue to decline.
Navigation/maps and unlimited music are the next most desired mobile services after iPlayer, according to the analyst's report, with around a fifth (19 per cent) of the vote each.
Multiplayer games and other mobile TV were desired by four per cent of the vote apiece, video calling being big with three per cent and friend finder identified by just two per cent. Around a fifth (21 per cent) claimed "none of these" services are on their wishlist.
The results underline how mobile internet consumption is being driven by 'free stuff' with just a few consumers prepared to pay for content on their phones, according to CCS Insight.
According to the analyst, the thirst for free is evident in users' preference for the iPlayer's gratis content over other services that have a cost associated with them.
"The iPlayer looks poised to have a similar impact on mobile networks as it has in the fixed-line world," the CCS Insight report adds. "The application may be an exciting prospect for viewers but the implications of serving BBC video content over cellular networks will fill operators with dread."
Other findings from the report include a preference for Facebook over Twitter among mobile social networkers – with more than 90 per cent of this group visiting Facebook on their phones, compared to 14 per cent who visit Twitter, the next most popular site in the survey. All the social networks in the survey draw the majority of their support from the under-25s with the exception of Twitter which is more popular with older social networkers, aged 25 to 35.
The survey also found that gender informs hardware choice, with Samsung mobiles being twice as popular with women than men – but the reverse being true for the iPhone and BlackBerry.
The survey examined the mobile internet usage habits of more than 1,000 16- to 35-year-olds in the UK.