New research from Acision reveals 79% of US consumers are now using multi-service messaging but there is a unique opportunity for carriers to offer richer services
- 72% of US consumers surveyed are using multiple messaging services each day, triggered by speed, rich features and cost. IM/OTT messaging is gaining ground with SMS, which is still today’s only assured service for all
- 72% state a dependency on SMS, despite new OTT services
- Consumers connect to more contacts with OTT messaging today, but don’t separate out service usage across family, friends and work
- 75% are interested in an operator rich messaging service such as ‘joyn™’, which can eliminate messaging fragmentation
CTIA 203, Las Vegas – 22nd May, 2013: New research from mobile messaging leader, Acision, reveals that 79% of Smartphone users are today using multiple messaging services, including SMS, MMS and IM/Over-the-top (OTT) applications, to fulfil their messaging needs. However, when described, the GSMA’s Rich Communication Service (RCS), being rolled out by carriers globally and branded ‘joyn™’, an overwhelming majority (75%), stated a clear interest if packaged at the right price. This positive response to joyn™’ represents a big opportunity for carriers to quickly deliver a ubiquitous, richer messaging experience that combines SMS, MMS, IM, social messaging, group chat, media file and video sharing, all on one platform.
“Despite dramatized media headlines indicating the death of SMS, our research confirms that while OTT messaging service usage is on the rise, SMS is still regarded as a key service by many consumers in the US,” said Russell Grahame, SVP and General Manager of Acision North America. “However, as consumer behaviours and expectations evolve and they look for richer messaging services to communicate and connect, time is of the essence for carriers to fast-track the launch of their own rich messaging and RCS based services, in order to create a new communication ecosystem.”
The second edition of Acision’s annual research, which analyzes messaging behaviors and requirements of Smartphone users in the US, demonstrates that while 92% of respondents use SMS on their Smartphones, nearly three quarters (72%) use multiple messaging services each day, with 42% of all respondents using them all the time. SMS still resides as a dominant messaging force, with 72% of respondents stating they depend on it, of which 53% said they would be lost without it. However, with 77% of US Smartphone users having unlimited SMS bundles, this concludes that the right pricing or package encourages SMS usage and may be an influencing factor in the continued popularity of SMS vs. OTT.
MMS messaging is also on the rise, with 58% of respondents stating they have increased usage because their friends use it, primarily to send something funny (84%), send something festive (53%), and send pictures while on vacation (40%). A significant number of survey respondents (69%) claim they also have unlimited MMS in their service package, which also encourages uptake and showcases cost as a big factor in usage. With IM/OTT messaging services also gaining ground, generating 89% of messaging traffic across the numerous apps, over half of survey respondents stated they don’t mind using multiple messaging services, and this could be because they represent communities they have signed up for. The survey also found that 57% claimed they cannot do without OTT/IM messaging.
Acision’s research demonstrates a combination of consumer requirements across service quality, rich features and cost; with the added assurance for all that they can reach anyone at any time through multiple service messaging. With the proven high dependency on SMS as the only universal service that will work instantly across all phones at any time, the respondents claimed reliability (40%), speed (39%) and reach (32%) as key service qualities which made it their preferred reason to use it. Users who prefer OTT messaging services cite similar reasons: speed (50%), message delivery notification (36%) and reliability (35%). Other rich features that scored highly included, seeing a reply being written (31%), group messaging (28%), and presence (24%). What is obvious is that no single service on the market can provide all of these entire requirements, so using SMS with OTT/IM services simultaneously is the best way to cover all bases.
“The trend where today’s consumers are messaging more over a number of different platforms and via multiple devices is a global phenomenon, which we have seen not only in our research but across other analyst and industry data points. Today, tech-savvy consumers want something ‘extra’ – a combination of universal reach, uncompromised reliability and enriched features – which can only be fulfilled by using multiple services concurrently,” continued Grahame. “With the market evolving at lightning speed, there is a enormous untapped opportunity for operators to launch one consolidated messaging platform which combines all consumer requirements to again lead this messaging revolution.”
To understand the opportunity for operators to offer richer features as part of their rich messaging service, Acision asked the attractiveness of the following features:
- A messaging service where you can reach everybody, regardless of the type of messaging app they are using (68%)
- A messaging service where you can receive a message on any device: Smartphone, tablet or laptop/PC (68%)
- An instant messaging service where you have a single conversation history of all messages, regardless of the app or device used (61%)
- A messaging service with which you can send all your messages without having to think which application to use – the message would just send to your contacts and deliver to them no matter their preferred messaging service (59%)
Jorgen Nilsson, Chief Executive at Acision, stated, “Since the launch of the GSMA’s consumer brand joyn™, for its family of Rich Communications Suite standards (RCS-e, RCS5), significant steps have been made by industry players to formally bring a more robust, richer messaging service to market which addresses all these areas. While this is quickly gaining the attention and investment of operators worldwide, only 10% of users polled in the US had ever heard of joyn™. Whether users have a feature phone or Smartphone, providing a richer, ubiquitous experience and breaking the fragmentation barrier is key for tomorrow’s services, while enabling monetization of services with a new commercial model.
“If operators act now, they can carve out a service experience which improves user satisfaction, stickiness and incremental revenue generation through new service add-ons. Acision is poised to play a leading industry role in accelerating the delivery of IP messaging services in the years ahead, and ensuring operators can provide a superior seamless experience. Acision’s consolidated messaging platform, combines current capabilities with future technology, to provide a fully transparent communications service which is quick and easy to deploy, interoperates across all platforms, enabling carriers to deliver on the promise of reaching “anyone, anywhere, on any device,” concluded Nilsson.
Researchers forecast that global mobile messaging revenues could grow to $195.9 billion by 2016, with messaging traffic from these new services likely to double over the next three years. Acision offers a solid portfolio of products and services to help operators adapt to the shifting messaging market and launch new game-changing services.
Conducted by Vanson Bourne in April 2013, the research is Acision’s second comprehensive study on the US mobile messaging landscape. It is based on interviews with 1000 Smartphone devices in the US.
About Vanson Bourne
Vanson Bourne, a specialist research-led consultancy, carries out user research within a technology context. The company interviews senior decision makers from a variety of functions, across a whole range of industries, in organisations from the smallest to the largest, in markets around the globe. Vanson Bourne’s clients range from start-ups to well-known companies that need expert guidance, delivering robust and credible research-based analysis.