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Real-time mobile clicks reveal an earlier start and frenzied finish to mobile browsing and app usage this Christmas

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The amount of mobile browsing over the Christmas period – as measured by how many people click on mobile adverts – reveals a much earlier start in 2011 than in 2010, as well as a frenzy of mobile browsing on Christmas day between 9 and 11am – up 50% on a typical day at that time.

Real-time mobile advertising clicks measured over the Christmas period by Adfonic across its global mobile advertising marketplace show a shift in consumer engagement with mobile browsing and app usage over the holiday season.

Adfonic saw mobile clicks for the first half of the month reach a peak on Sunday 11th December, echoing 2010 when the highest volume of mobile clicks before the Christmas week itself was recorded on Sunday 12th December.

However, 2011 saw a significantly earlier start to Christmas related browsing and app usage, perhaps driven by increased mobile activity resulting from the significant discounting many retailers unveiled at the start of December. Click volumes increased from a higher base at the start of the month, to rise by 23% on Sunday 11th December.

In 2010, volumes only started to increase from 6th December and grew rapidly to reach over 400% above the beginning of the month, on Sunday 12th December.

Adfonic’s data mirrors wider industry trends which have seen the ‘Mobile Sunday’ effect (the second Sunday of December being a peak in mobile browsing and app usage) establishing itself as phenomenon which contrasts to desktop based online browsing, which typically peaks on the second Monday of December.

The 24 hour advance on mobile can be attributed to a combination of consumers using mobile devices both over Wi-Fi from home as well as over 3G connections whilst browsing the shops.

The heightened activity throughout December that Adfonic’s figures reveal is indicative of the fact that consumers are generally spending more time on mobile devices in the run up to Christmas – whilst making the most of increased leisure time to use recreational mobile sites and apps as well as to browse and shop for Christmas gifts.

In addition increased usage in December can be attributed to consumers researching product information, comparing prices and checking store locations whilst Christmas shopping on the high street.

After the Mobile Sunday peak, clicks across the Adfonic network began to rise again in Christmas week and had surpassed the levels seen on Sunday 11th by Thursday 22nd December, before continuing to rise steadily through to Christmas Day as more people enjoyed time off work or college.

Christmas Day itself was the busiest day of the year for mobile clicks; volumes were 36% higher than the early month peak on 11 December 2011 and 50% higher than the average for December. A year ago it was Boxing Day that saw the most clicks but it seems that this season Christmas Day falling a Sunday, combined with the popularity of Smartphone and Tablet devices as gifts, and an even earlier start to the January Sales led more consumers to use their mobile devices to engage with apps and to hunt for sales bargains on December 25th.

In the UK Christmas morning saw a frenzy of activity between 09:00 – 12:00 with 10:00 – 11:00 representing the most clicks in a single hour during December. Clicks then began to decrease between 12:00 and 15:00 as people sat down to enjoy their Christmas lunch. This morning spike in activity suggests that instead of simply exchanging presents, UK consumers took advantage of the time on Christmas morning to connect newly opened Smartphone and Tablet devices to browse the mobile web and download must-have apps.

Paul Childs, CMO, Adfonic commented: “Our data highlights the upsurge in mobile clicks from much earlier in December compared to last year, and also suggests that consumers began browsing for January sales bargains earlier than ever before. The increase in clicks on Christmas day itself is yet another indicator of the enormous popularity of Smartphone and Tablet devices as Christmas gifts and the increasing amounts of time we are all spending engaging with mobile sites and apps .”

Data referenced above is drawn from analysis of Adfonic’s global mobile advertising marketplace comprising 10,000 mobile publishers that reach a unique monthly audience in excess of 100 million mobile users. Adfonic’s marketplace generates in excess of 20 billion advertising requests each month for its brand advertisers that include Warner Bros, Peugeot and McDonalds. Adfonic is able to use its real-time tracking tools to segment and analyse data on an hour by hour basis and according to a wide range of variables.

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