Veckans BusinessWeek har en tvåsidesartikel (sida 60-61) om Niklas Zennström och Skype. Zennströms 70 pers företag håller på att slå ut hela den gigantiska traditionella analoga amerikanska telekombranschen. Skype får 70.000 nya abonnenter varje dag, utan att betala ett öre i reklam. Det kostar Skype omkring 7 öre för varje ny kund mot de flera tusen kronor som traditionella telekomföretagen betalar.
Så vad har Zennström och Nokia med det amerikanska presidentvalet att göra?
Amerikanska opinionsundersökare har fortfarande inte ställt om till den moderna mobil- och VOIP -åldern. Trots att antalet Skype-användare i USA fortfarande är litet så har USA efter flera år hunnit ifatt Sverige på mobiltelefonområdet och hundratusentals amerikaner har idag mobil men inte en fast landbaserad telefon.
Men de amerikanska opinionsundersökarna når inte mobiltelefonanvändarna, så vi kan räkna med att deras siffror inte är specfiellt exakta. En annan faktor är att miljoner amerikaner redan har poströstat, en annan nyhet i årets val.
ARLINGTON, Va. –(Business Wire)– Oct. 22, 2004 — Survey Finds Republicans More Likely To Respond To Phone Polls; Democrats More Likely To Screen Calls and Answer Most Calls At Home Using Cell Phone
As many as eight million U.S. households could be left out of the political polling process as a growing number of consumers move to cellular phones as their sole means of taking and making telephone calls, according to a ew survey conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
“Number portability, advanced text messaging and voicemail features, and most importantly, falling prices for service plans are all allowing more and more consumers to cut the cord to their traditional landline services,” said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. “This trend is without question making it harder for political pollsters to get an accurate read on local, state and national races.”
The research, conducted online October 2 through October 5 among 568 likely voters, reveals cellular-only consumers receive far less polling solicitations than those with traditional landline service. In fact, only 10 percent of cell phone-only likely voters reported receiving at least one polling solicitation for a local, state or national election in the last 60 days. This compares to nearly 30 percent of consumers who also have, or rely exclusively on, traditional landline service.
The survey found a large portion of the cellular-only group (37 percent compared to 28 of all likely voters), don’t consider themselves Republicans or Democrats. Instead they’re more likely to be Independents or have no political affiliation at all. The cellular-only group is also much younger by nearly half compared to all other consumers, more likely to be single, employed part-time or not at all (mostly students) and have lower average incomes.
Another factor thwarting the effectiveness of political pollsters is the practice of call-screening. Consumers screen their incoming calls by listening to the voice of the person leaving a message on an answering machine or looking for a familiar number using caller ID services.
The survey found while likely voters, both Republican and Democrat, reported receiving an equal number of polling calls, Republicans are 25 percent more likely than Democrats to have responded to at least one poll. The difference was just as pronounced for polls related to the national election where Republicans were more than 23 percent more likely to have responded to a poll call.
Some of the difference may be attributed to the survey findings showing that Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to indicate they screen their calls (44 percent and 27 percent respectively).