What use do 58,480 teenagers aged 12 to 18 make of their mobile phones in 31 countries? A major survey indicates a lot has changed in 18 months. It is immediately relevant to the IP commercialisation strategy of many businesses trading in intellectual property .

The teenagers were surveyed in October and November 2007 by Habbo, part of Sulake, an online entertainment and social networking company in Finland. Habbo states that statistical weighting was employed to give all participating countries an equal weight in the global results. Habbo’s virtual world website claims 8.6 million unique users on a monthly basis.

Gathered below are statistics from the survey released in April 2008. It follows Habbo’s first survey in 2006. A lot has changed in 18 months.

Mobile phone content and use statistics

  • 88% of teenagers in the Habbo survey regularly communicate via SMS
  • 76% of teenagers in the Habbo survey use the internet to Instant Message friends; though 72% hold active email accounts, email is generally reserved by teenagers more for non-personal needs such as school or work, or correspondence with family members
  • 71% of teenagers in the Habbo survey use their mobiles as a portable mp3 player, up from 38% in the 2006 Habbo survey
  • 70% of teenagers in the Habbo survey take photos and videos, up from 11% in the 2006
  • 64% of teenagers in the Habbo survey play games, up from 51% in 2006

These statistics confirm mobile phones are at the epicentre of changing teenager habits involving digital media. The mobile phone is like the she-wolf was for the mythical founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus (pictured above).

Consider this Habbo survey statement: “Compared to the previous 2006 survey, mobile phone usage was the one single area that showed the most significant growth compared to other topics surveyed. … Teens are now using their mobiles to simultaneously access information, communicate and have fun.”

Internet use statistics

  • 40% of teenagers in the Habbo survey do not view online social networks as an important part of their online experience
  • YouTube and MySpace were their most popular global websites
  • 30% of teenagers in the Habbo survey regularly upload content

Mobile phone statistics

As regards hardware, the survey reports that Nokia is losing market share. It ranked first in all countries in 2006.  In the fourth quarter of 2007 it held a 40% market share reports Sulake. Despite still being the favoured handset in 15 of the 31 countries polled, it is losing share to Sony Ericsson and Samsung.

Intellectual property and content licensing opportunities

The background reading below is designed to help you join the dots in your context should you need legal advisers with experience in mobile phone content licensing, digital media deals, and more broadly – intellectual property transactions, IP negotiations, and IP asset management.

Noric Dilanchian