Study: Apple iPod users among the Internet’s most prolific influencers and advertisers

Consumers who own iPods are significantly more likely to create and spread consumer-generated media (CGM) on the Internet, a trend likely to increase with the incorporation of video content into iPods, says a recent consumer behavior study by buzz analytics firm Intelliseek.

According to Intelliseek’s 2005 Consumer-Generated Media and Behavior Study, iPod users are twice as likely to have authored a blog than consumers who do not own MP3 players, and they outpace other MP3 owners on creating and posting content online. iPod users are also 2.5 times as likely to exchange text messages on cellular phones (59% vs. 24% of non-owners), three times as likely to take photos with a camera phone (45% vs. 15%), and three times as likely to download video clips and movies to a personal computer (47% versus 16%). The representative study of 660 online consumers was conducted in August, 2005.

The study finds that iPod users also are product innovators, significantly more likely to own digital video recorders, personal digital assistants, digital cameras, laptop computers and cell phones than non-iPod owners. They tend to link to the Internet via broadband and wireless connections, and are more likely than others to skip past or filter advertisements, especially online, a behavior that may be linked as much to high usability/interface expectations as it is to a dislike of advertising.

The amount and depth of consumer-generated media about Apple products on message boards, forums, ratings sites and other CGM venues support this conclusion, the study finds. On blogs alone, nearly 1% of all new blog entries directly or indirectly mention iPod products, roughly equal to the total amount of online conversations citing MP3 players in general. First-person product testimonials about iPods also index highly across message boards, forums and ratings sites.

“iPod users have more word-of-mouth tools at their disposal to spread opinions and reviews about their iPod experiences,” said Pete Blackshaw, Intelliseek’s chief marketing officer in a statement. “Provided iPods continue to delight consumers, Apple will benefit from a growing volume of free, trusted advertising from other consumers.”

The Intelliseek Consumer-Generated Media Study confirms that while word- of-mouth recommendations from personal acquaintances carry the most weight in influencing purchases, even CGM from Internet strangers is a more powerful influence than paid advertising.

Blackshaw will discuss the iPod findings in a free 4 p.m. webinar Wednesday, Oct. 26. The full study, to be released in November, will explore all dimensions of consumer-generated media, especially as it relates to traditional advertising.

Webinar registration:
Study information:

Cincinnati-based Intelliseek, a 2004 co-founder of the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association, creates marketing intelligence for companies and brands by measuring and analyzing all forms of consumer-generated media. It also owns, a free blog search engine and blog analysis website.

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  1. I own an iPod, and I have never paid any attention to web ads. ESPECIALLY ones that sneak behind my browser window and make obnoxious noises.

    MW: very, as in “Pop-under ads with sound are VERY annoying!”

  2. i just got a pop up add on this site about adaware and spyware. whoever is advertising here isn’t doing a good job. I am sure that MDN is accessed mostly by apple computers, which don’t have to worry about crap like spyware. word.

  3. Soooo, according to this study, people who organize their music using a computer are more likely to be using a computer to do other computer related and tech stuff too… Whoa! whoa! whoa!!! Hold on here… Are you telling me that people are getting paid to do this kind of work!!! Holy shit! Sign me up.. I’d make an awewome analyst, I’m a natural!!!

    <Ahem> “My study finds that people who wipe too many times with too much toilet paper will get a rash on their butt.”

    and, let’s see, oo-oo! “My study finds that people who feel hungry, after eating a meal, will then feel ‘full’.”

    Anybody who wants to hire me, give me a call, 555-5555

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