January 4, 2001
A market study of 1,286 teenaged girls from the U.K. and Ireland showed that animated SMS messaging is a highly appealing service which would be used frequently. The market study, conducted jointly by FunMail Inc. and Mykindaplace.com, a leading U.K. teen site, queried over 1200 teenagers about their opinions on animated SMS services. Respondents were overwhelmingly positive about animated SMS services, with 96% of the respondents saying they wanted FunMail SMS messaging for their mobile phone. The FunMail service had an averaged perceived value of 37p, (US $.53), and 72% of respondents responded that they would send 3-5 FunMails per week.
33% of respondents thought the FunMail service was so compelling that they would switch wireless carriers to have animated SMS on their mobile phone. When asked to describe the FunMail SMS service, 38% called it either "cool", "brilliant", "amazing", or "great." One teen commented, "FunMail is a brilliant way to show your feelings through SMS."
"The testing results show remarkably strong confirmation of how attractive the FunMail SMS service is to our target audience. It is rare to see, in a market testing environment, a service to have such universally strong appeal," said FunMail VP of Business Development Randy Boyer. "It confirms that we have the right service, at the right time, for the right audience."
FunMail's content partners received high marks as well, with 60% of respondents saying they either "liked" or "loved" the South Park and Garfield animated characters.
The market study also showed a high penetration of visually-enabled GSM handsets among the surveyed teens, with over 80% reporting they were aware of the visual features in their handsets. However, 45% of the respondents said they used this feature "Hardly Ever" or "Never", demonstrating that these graphical capabilities are currently underutilized.
"FunMail SMS will unlock the revenue potential of this group and their visually-enabled GSM handsets," said FunMail CEO Adam Lavine. "This European market study underscores our belief that teens in particular will be very frequent users of the FunMail service."
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