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Mobile Rivals PCs for Brazil’s Internet Audience

More than half the online population will use the web via mobile this year

Years of accelerated economic growth in Brazil have helped set the stage for what is now an intensely mobile telecom market, according to a new eMarketer report, “Brazil Mobile: Smartphones Pave the Way to a Multiscreen Market.” Deeper investments in mobile networks and rising income levels have brought Brazil a total of 280.1 million mobile connections in 2013, for an average of 1.39 mobile subscriptions per person.

That translates to 142.7 million mobile phone users in Brazil this year, equivalent to 71% of the country’s population, and a rise of 2.3% over 2012’s total. Uptake in subsequent years will be similarly in the single digits—an indication that Brazil’s mobile user base may be reaching saturation. eMarketer also estimates that 53.5% of Brazil’s online population—53.1 million people—will be mobile phone internet users this year. If current trends continue, almost all internet users, and close to 60% of the country’s population, will go online using mobile phones by 2017.

Mobile devices are closing in on PCs when it comes to internet access. A February 2013 survey by market intelligence company E.Life found that 61.8% of Brazil’s internet users across all socioeconomic levels had connected to the internet via mobile phones or smartphones, when compared with 75.5% who connected through desktop computers and 65.7% through notebooks.

Not only are mobile devices closing in on PCs as internet access points, but they are also encroaching on the developing relationship between the internet and TV, expanding the possibilities of not only where, but also which media can be consumed at the same time. However, in Brazil, TV is still king. GroupM’s “This Year, Next Year: Interaction 2013” report forecast that adults in Brazil will spend 39% more time watching television than going online. On the marketer side, the company expects that TV ad spending will represent 70.5% of Brazil’s 2013 total media ad spending, a 2% increase over 2012. These findings can help explain why much of the data on simultaneous media use is still more often about common activities people engage in while watching TV.

When compared to the massive and concentrated audience for traditional TV in Brazil, mobile’s diverse, fragmented and nonlinear usage presents a real challenge to marketers trying to locate, understand and connect with the country’s consumers via mobile channels. IAB Brasil and comScore, for example, found that 57% of Brazil’s internet users “always” or “frequently” accessed the internet via tablet while simultaneously watching TV, and 58% said they did so via smartphones. Concurrent usage of desktop/laptop computers and TV was even higher, at 64%.

Digging deeper into the online habits of simultaneous TV and internet users showed a wide mix of activities, both related and unrelated to the television programming and advertising being watched.


The full report, “Brazil Mobile: Smartphones Pave the Way to a Multiscreen Market,” also answers these key questions:

  • What is the size of Brazil’s mobile internet market?
  • Who are Brazil's mobile internet users?
  • How is mobile internet uptake shaping digital activities in the country?
  • How do mobile devices impact simultaneous media use among Brazil’s internet users?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.


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