Mobile content buyers: creatures of habit


Bango has revealed the buying patterns of over 2 million users and characterized the three most common types of mobile content consumers as ‘Nibblers, Grazers and Porkers’. The Bango research also sheds light on emerging buying behaviour, including ‘Bingeing, Bill Shock and the Passing Fad’.

With more and more mobile phone users buying content ranging from ringtones, wallpapers and games to video and adult material, there are a growing number of Grazers: consumers who consistently spend between £5 and £20 per month on mobile phone content. Grazer spending tends to rise slowly over time; these are users who will shop around and test new sites.

For every 20 grazers there is a Porker who typically consumes at least £30-£50 of content a month, with a few regularly spending over £100 per month. And some of the biggest spenders have been seen to consume £300-£400 of content in peak months. Porkers tend to go back to their favourite sites and most commonly spend their money on ringtones and adult content.

The third most common content consumer – the Nibbler – is only able to cope with small amounts of content at one time and the buying patterns reveal long periods between purchases. Typically Nibblers will buy one piece of content such as a new ringtone or image every few months.

But like Grazers they may have the occasional uncharacteristic binge – maybe in response to a text marketing campaign – spending up to 10 times their normal limit. But this is usually followed by a ‘hangover’ and 3-6 months of remorse until they return for another binge.

“It is fascinating to see these buyer types emerging in the growing mobile ‘prairie,'” says Ray Anderson, CEO of Bango. “Bango helps content providers develop strategies to exploit the buying tendencies of each group. For example, with Grazers it is important that sites change regularly while for Porkers, we recommend content providers offer a subscription service to tap into their continual desire to consume.”

As well as bingeing, Bango has also highlighted other common behaviour patterns. The ‘Passing Fad’ occurs when customers get excited about mobile content for the first few months but then either become Nibblers or Grazers, or stop altogether.

‘We have also noted occasional Bill Shock: consumers who go on a frantic personalization spree buying ringtones, wallpapers and games for their new GPRS phone – until the first bill arrives,’ says Anderson.


Sarah Keefe