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Understanding The Mobile Consumer
Orange UK Reveals Consumer Research on Mobile Media Consumption & Attitudes to Advertising


Orange UK has been actively working in the area of mobile advertising for some time. Realizing that this is a very new area and that consumer habits and preferences are still developing, Orange commissioned a qualitative research project, named “Exposure”, that seeks to discover what effects mobile is having on people’s media habits and why.

The results from that research were shared by Orange with MobiAD News. This article includes a series of slides that explain what media people consume, when, where, with whom, and also their attitudes towards various formats of mobile advertising.

Some of the key findings from the study are:

  • people who access media regularly tend to do so for just over 3 1/2 hours each week
  • half of all media consumption happens when the consumer is with other people – friends, spouse, etc
  • only 20% of media occasions happen when traveling, most is at home or in the office
  • mobile is the prime media channel between the hours of 12 noon and 6pm
  • idle screen advertising was the most highly rated form of mobile advertising looked at in the study.

Laura Chaibi, Media Research Manager at Orange UK said: “Orange’s recent qualitative research uncovered how mobile phones are changing consumer’s media habits and attitudes towards advertising. The mobile is a highly personal device so it’s been a fantastic opportunity for Orange to get an insight into such an area.”

Note: to make this article easier to read and faster to load, we have divided it into 4 pages. Click the link at the bottom of each page to move to the subsequent page.

DOWNLOAD: At the bottom of page 4 there is a link to download higher quality copies of the graphs in this article.
Information Source: Exposure, Orange Home UK plc, November 2007

How the study was conducted
This research was undertaken by Basis for Orange UK in late 2007, and consisted of 5 stages:
• Vox Pops – quick interviews on the street to get an idea of what people know and what words to use.
• Media Diaries – certain frequent users of mobile media kept a week long diary in which they recorded their media habits as well as the context of the event.
• Walkabouts – in which a researcher would follow a user for an entire day taking notes about media consumption.
• In-depth interviews – to understand a user’s view on advertising.
• Group sessions – with a cross section of users where examples of mobile ads were shown and the group gave feedback.


In order to get a broad overview of media habits, the study covered all the types of media that are commonly consumed on mobile: web on mobile, games, downloading, email, personal media (UG), bluetooth, music/radio.

Usage Varies by Age
It seems to be common wisdom that mobile usage varies according to age. This study looked in more detail to see if this is true, and in fact what are the differences between the age groups.


Based on the study results, the researchers identified 3 distinct groups of users, based on age, each with certain qualitative characteristic traits:

Under 25’s = “Mainstream” users:

  • typically have a single device that includes both phone and MP3
  • entertainment is key driver
  • access mainstream internet sites
  • mobile media is a social currency
  • waiting for mobile TV price to come down and technology to improve

25 to 44 year olds = “Selective” users:

  • separate devices for phone and MP3
  • email is key driver
  • access mobile specific sites & mainstream
  • mobile media is for keeping up to date
  • limited mobile content appeal – brief, to the point, no clutter

Over 45’s = “Tentative” users:

  • MP3 not mentioned
  • information is key driver
  • access mobile operator portals
  • mobile media is for meeting functional needs
  • limited downtime to use mobile

The next part of the study looked in detail at the “who, why, when” questions. The slides on the next page shed some light on where people consume mobile media, at what time of day, and with whom.

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