Consumers are relying more than ever on mobile as a primary device for internet access, according to a new report from the global advertising network BuzzCity.


The report highlights the continued growth of mobile surfing, measured via the advertisements served on its global BuzzCity advertising network. Surfing activity has grown by 27% compared to 2012 and by the end of 2013 smartphone penetration had increased to 43% of the 520 million surfers on the ad network.


BuzzCity’s campaign planner statistics show more than 100 countries globally with at least 30% smartphone usage. Over the last 6 months of 2013, smartphone penetration grew by 17 percentage points.


The report also highlights findings of a recent user behaviour study; 19,000 respondents in 20 countries were questioned about their surfing habits to gain a unique insight into modern mobile consumer behaviour.


Overall surfing activity has increased as price conscious consumers opted for affordable smartphones that entered the market place. But as carriers across the globe rolled out 4G networks, competition has, again, given rise to a confusing choice of plans.   To avoid “bill shock” many heavy users appear to be surfing less. While more users are accessing the internet, they are spending less time online when they do, with a decline in the group of users spending up to 6 hours a day online via mobile from 23% to 18%, with a a rise of 16 percentage points in users accessing via mobile online once a day.

Dr KF Lai, CEO and Founder of BuzzCity comments “This aspect of the industry seems to have regressed to the landscape we saw back in ’06-‘07 – the call needs to be made again for simple data plans with more predictable pricing”.

The study notes ‘cost conscious’ behaviour across many sectors and a general decline in planned purchases in the next 6 to 12 months including those that support the digital lifestyle. Despite a marginal decline, users are planning to buy PCs (23%), tablets (12%) and Smart TVs (6%)

Mobile surfing is expected to increase as the younger generation (under 20) enter the workforce – 13% are expected to graduate this year. Businesses competing for their attention will have to acknowledge their preference for mobile ( 89% of respondents stated that mobile was their preferred device for surfing the internet and 81.4% surf with mobile only) and will not only have to build their brands on mobile platforms  but also develop customer retention initiatives to remain competitive.


The survey results forms part of The BuzzCity Report, Vol 4 issue 1 covering the last quarter of 2013. During this period the network delivered some 72 billion banner ads. To view the report, visit

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