For the first time ever in history. consumers in the US are spending more time on their mobile devices than they are with viewing programming on their televisions. For decades now, TV has dominated consumer’s time and attention… Now, those days are gone.
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Going back just five years to 2014, we find that consumers in the US spent an average of 4 hours, 20 minutes (4:20) consuming content on that number one consumer device, the TV. On the other hand, consumers used their mobile devices approximately 2:32 a day on average, giving TV an almost two hour advantage.
The Tables Have Turned, Mobile is Winning
Ever since researchers recognized and started tracking just how and where users like to consume content, the trend has shifted. And now, just five years later, the trend has completely flipped in favor of mobile devices.
eMarketer says that in 2019, consumers now spend an average of 3:43 consuming content on their mobile device…a huge increase from 2014. At the same time, they average 3:35 consuming content on a TV. [This excludes watching TV content on a digital device.}
Knowing It’s Coming…But Still Surprising to See
For the most part, this “mobile” usage refers to smartphones, as opposed to tablets or laptops, by a wide margin. The difference between TV and mobile content use this year works out to an average of 8 minutes more on mobile devices, as opposed to TV. But eMarketer analysts says that they fully anticipate the swing towards more mobile content consumption to continue and forecast a more than 30-minute average usage margin in favor of mobile devices by 2021.
“We’ve expected that mobile would overtake TV for a while, but seeing it happen is still surprising. As recently as 2014, the average US adult watched nearly 2 hours more TV than they spent on theor phones.”Yoram Wurmser, eMarketer principal analyst
Reason for Shift? Audio Rules the Day
For the most part, mobile users are spending more time using apps over web browsers, eMarketer says. On average, they are spending around 2:57 in apps vs. 0:26 on a mobile browser.
And what is the most prevalent app-driven activity? To a pretty significant degree, people are listening to music through their favorite streaming app. After music, the next most common activity is listening to podcasts. So audio continues to rule the day in the mobile world.
See this and more research at: www.emarketer.com.