New findings from Roy Morgan Research show that 7,427,000 Australians aged 14 or over (37.9%) used Gmail in an average four weeks in the 12 months to March 2016 – for the first time exceeding the 7,362,000 emailing through a Microsoft account (37.6%).
According to Roy Morgan’s Michelle Levine, the change in lead has been a long time coming.
Levin says that since 2012, Gmail has claimed more than 3.5 million new Australian users, averaging almost 900,000 new emailers annually and almost doubling its user base.
Coming a distant third is Telstra’s BigPond Email, with 2,912,000 Australians (14.9%) visiting the site in an average four weeks, down from 3,394,000 in 2012.
Meanwhile, after losing some emailers in the 12 months to March 2013, Levine says Yahoo!7 Mail has since regained an average of close to 100,000 emailers annually now with 2,156,000 users (11.0%) and numbers above its base in 2012.
And, overall, 14,330,000 Australians aged 14 or over (73%) now use one or more of these email services.
“Nearly three quarters of Australians use one (or more) of these big four email services in an average four weeks,” Levine says.
“Free email accounts are mostly advertising-supported. The fine print of signing up is that email content is analysed by automated systems. Many of us have experienced seeing search results or digital advertising that reflect something we’d mentioned in a recent email.
“Although nearly 70% of Australians say they’re worried about invasion of privacy through new technologies, we use free email services knowing that our emails will be ‘read’ and advertising will be customised and tailored. Done well, this can work for both the advertisers (who want to target more accurately and cost-effectively) and users (who would prefer search results and ads are relevant).
“The missing link is a broader, privacy-compliant yet real-world understanding of people’s habits and desires beyond what can be learned through keywords in their emails.”