The city is broadening the reach of its 9% “amusement tax” to include streaming entertainment services like Netflix and Spotify.
Just as they did with web-connected PCs years ago, U.S. consumers are starting to move in mass to using mobile devices to get what they need on the Internet.
More than 63.2 million people- 29% of the U.S. population age 16 and over-accessed the web on their mobile devices during the month of January 2009, according to comScore Inc. 22.4 million, or 35%, did so daily-an increase of 107% over 10.8 million in January 2008.
This period in mobile history is analogous to the period just after the early days of the Internet, experts say, when consumers used the web on their PCs for searching and finding information and were just beginning to shop. Faster connection speeds, better computers and greater comfort with the Internet is what ultimately drove people to embrace shopping online, says Tim Sherwin, executive vice president and co-founder of CardinalCommerce Corp., an e-commerce and m-commerce technology vendor.
“That’s what we’ve been seeing lately in mobile-increased wireless data usage, better devices and faster 3G network speeds,” Sherwin explains. “We’ve been seeing a dramatic increase in visitors to all our retailer clients’ m-commerce sites. And we’ve been seeing an unbelievable rise in people accessing the sites through mobile natural search from Google. And average page views per visit is seven and a half. People are getting more and more comfortable with the mobile web. We’ve hit critical mass.”