College Students Annoyed by Mobile Ads
As more college students receive ads on their cell phones, the more annoyed they're becoming. This was a key finding from research released last month by Michael Hanley, a Ball State University journalism professor and director of the school's Institute for Mobile Media Research. Hanley's research is based on 11 surveys of mobile device usage he's conducted twice a year since 2005, and includes responses from 5,500 college students.
In 2005, 30 percent of college students who received ads on their feature phone (or low-end mobile phone) said they were annoyed to get an advertisement. That's grown to 48 percent in 2010, but only 36 percent for smartphone owners.
Perhaps the reason students are annoyed by ads is because there are so many of them. Advertising on cell phones is a quickly growing channel, the research found. In 2005, for example, 34 percent of students reported receiving ads on their cell phones. That figure grew to 61 percent in February 2010 for feature phones, and 51 percent for smartphones.
The growth comes from ads sent via text messaging, which more than doubled from 28 percent in 2005 to 68 percent in 2010 for feature phones and 50 percent for smartphones. The type of ad that's grown the most in the past two years is a link to the internet, from 1 percent in 2005 to 12 percent (smartphone) and 8 percent (feature phone) today.
Coupons sent via mobile phones is one of the fastest growing mobile marketing segments, the research found. When students were asked if they'd accept coupons or discounts for products via their cell phones, they answered in the following ways:
- 42 percent of feature phone owners said yes in 2010, compared to 28 percent in 2008 and 20 percent in 2006; and
- 58 percent of today's smartphone owners said they'd accept mobile coupons.
Other findings from the research include the following:
- 99.8 percent of students reported owning a cell phone;
- 49 percent of students report having a smartphone or touchscreen phone, up from 27 percent in February 2009 and 38 percent in October 2009;
- 97 percent of students send/receive text messages from their mobile phones, 30 percent send/receive email from their mobile phones and 25 percent send/receive instant messages from their mobile phones;
- 97 percent of smartphone users take and send photographs, and 87 percent of smartphone users take and send video;
- 51 percent of smartphone users reported receiving ads; and
- 77 percent of smartphone owners have a GPS function on their phone.