Mobile Future

Grabbing the Mobile Rings

Last winter’s Vancouver Olympics had some great moments: Lindsay Vonn and Bode Miller picking up golds. Joannie Rochette’s final. Ovechkin’s hit on Jagr.

And according to a briefing this week from NBC, millions of you were watching this on the tiny screen.

Alan Wurtzel, president of research and media development of NBC Universal, told a conference on the mobile Internet that mobile viewership of the Olympics surged between the 2008 Beijing Games and Vancouver. During the Beijing summer games, NBC reported that 15 percent of viewers watched events through their mobile devices.

Just 18 months later in Vancouver, that number almost doubled to 27 percent. About 1.2 million mobile users used a Winter Olympics mobile app, also a large increase from 2008.

NBC’s figures are in keeping with other evidence of the boom in mobile web usage. Nielsen estimates cited by Wurtzel peg the growth of mobile web users during the same period at nearly 50 percent (49 million users to 72 million).

So the mobile revolution accelerates. And to think: The London Olympics begin on July 27, 2012, or almost exactly two years from today.