Trends on Tuesday: Adults Use Mobile Devices Most of the Time

Millennial Media released a new research report, Connected Consumers: Gaining Insights Across Screens, examining U.S. digital audiences from January 2014 until January 2015 with some interesting information that reinforces trends we’ve covered before. If your users fall into these demographics, you need to mobilize the content they’re accessing on mobile devices.

Share of monthly online minutes use by device (smartphone, tablet or PC) within 3 adult age groups; 18 to 34, 35 to 54, and 55 or older.

Mobile and Tablet Devices Account for Majority of Time

If your audience is predominantly under 55 years old, you must be mobile-friendly because more than 60% of that audience’s digital consumption time is spent on mobile and tablet devices. Among the under 34 audience, it’s 69% on mobile and tablet devices.

It’s Not Just the Younger People Going Mobile First

Millennial Media cites in the report, “Adults 35-54 grew their share of monthly minutes with smartphones 46% and 49% with tablets. Adults ages 55 and over experienced a 25% increase in share of time spent with mobile year-over-year.”

smartphone ownership by screen size

Larger Phones or Phablets Use Grows while Smaller Phone Use Shrinks

American consumers owning smartphones with screens smaller than 4 inches declined 49% since last year, while those with 5 to 6 inch screens grew 161%. We’ve reported on several studies pointing to this trend, and this report reinforces the growth of the large phone form factor. Agencies need to test on emulators, many devices and operating systems when they release new mobile products.

Cross-Device Behavior by Content

Content Type Determines Platform Choice

Users tend to swing between mobile and PCs use depending on the type of content. News, retail and sports content were the few areas where there was close to a 50/50 mobile/PC split. Weather, food, games and health content all dominated mobile, while business, travel and TV lead the PC platform.

As agencies continue to meet user needs through mobile development, they must take into account what devices are used by their target populations as well as the types of content their audiences engage with on mobile.

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