Election season mobile TV viewers choose political news channels first

Both U.S. presidential campaigns are using multichannel marketing to get out the vote. And Nielsen Mobile’s latest mobile video report has just revealed how mobile phones can play a role in this election season, broken down by political party.

More than 4 million subscribers subscribe to and watch mobile video on their phones. Many additional subscribers watch mobile video through the mobile Web. Among mobile TV viewers, news channels consistently rank No. 1. An estimated 680,000 mobile video users are interested in seeing more political news and government coverage over mobile TV, opening a window for channels to expand coverage for a welcoming audience.

Nielsen Mobile praises the Obama campaign for its innovative use of mobile marketing, such as its sending text messages to nearly 3 million mobile phones to announce the Joe Biden VP pick. Further, the Obama campaign has a full mobile Web site containing news, videos and even ring tones and wallpaper downloads.

Meanwhile, the McCain campaign has not been as active in mobile media, but that may make sense. Nielsen Mobile reports that as of Q2 2008, mobile media was slightly more popular with Democrats than Republicans across a range of activities.

Overall, 62 percent of Democrats use one or more data services on their mobile phone compared to 55 percent of Republicans. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to use text messaging (53 percent compared to 46 percent), picture messaging and multimedia messaging (27 percent compared to 21 percent), and mobile Internet (17 percent compared to 13 percent).

These variations indicate that advertising across mobile channels tends to be more efficient at reaching Democrats than Republicans, but conservative voters have a strong stake in mobile media, too. The Drudge Report, for example, attracted a mobile Internet audience of 567,000 unique users a month as of July 2008.

For more information, visit www.nielsenmobile.com/html/press%20releases/PoliticalDataPoints.html.