Nielsen says mobile ads growing, consumers respond
NEW YORK (Reuters) - About 23 percent of U.S. mobile phone users have seen advertising on their cell phones in the last 30 days and about half of them responded to the ads, according to a report from The Nielsen Co released on Tuesday.
The number of phone users who recalled seeing mobile ads rose by 38 percent to 58 million in the fourth quarter compared with 42 million in the second quarter, Nielsen's fourth-quarter survey of 22,000 active mobile data users.
Service providers such as AT&T Inc <T.N> and Sprint Nextel Corp <S.N> have long-discussed the concept of augmenting revenue with mobile phone ads and have been easing into the market slowly for fear of bombarding customers.
But according to Nielsen almost a third of people who use data services such as text messaging or Web surfing are open to advertising if it lowers the overall bill.
One service provider Virgin Mobile USA <VM.N> offers call discounts in exchange for customer viewership of ads.
About 13 percent of respondents said they were open to ads if they improves the mobile content available, while about 14 percent said they were open to ads as long as they were relevant to their interests, the survey found.
Nielsen also said teenagers aged 13 to 17 were the most likely to recall seeing an ad, and that Asian-Americans and African-Americans were more likely to recall seeing ads than other data users.
(Reporting by Sinead Carew, editing by Richard Chang)