Time Spent Online: Mobile 51%, PC 49%

Jumptap (now part of Millennial Media) and comScore released a report last week on cross-platform device usage. The report contains considerable data about smartphone and tablet penetration, day parting and device usage by content category and demographic group.

Much of the data is from comScore and has already been released in other contexts. However there were a number of interesting data points in the report worth revisiting, including the fact that combined smartphone and tablet time online now exceeds time online with PCs.

As a general matter smartphones and tablets have increased overall time spent online rather than simply cannibalizing PC time, though there has been some of that (e.g., maps, local). 

Another interesting set of data in the document explore device share of online minutes by content category or vertical. The PC is dominant (more than 50% of time spent) in a little more than half the categories examined.

PC usage is highest in the automotive segment and lowest in "radio" (think Pandora). Retail sees slightly more mobile than PC time. 

The numbers above are aggregate data. Demographic segments are going to display different device behaviors. For example, those in the US under 30 are likely to be more involved and spend more time with smartphones than those over 50. That pattern has been repeatedly shown in our surveys and other third party data, including this report.

Below are the demographic groups profiled in the report:

Age 18 - 24: 

  • 69% own a Smartphone
  • 65% of digital users are cross-platform
  • 59% of time with digital is mobile

Women 25 - 49:

  • 69% are cross-platform
  • 67% own a Smartphone
  • 14% Mobile only (vs. 17% PC only)
  • Spend 63 hours monthly on Smartphone
  • 75% of time on social media is on Mobile

Men 25 - 49:

  • 74% of digital users are cross-platform
  • 62% own a Smartphone
  • 45% of time with digital is Mobile

Age 50+:

  • 39% own a Smartphone
  • 51% are cross-platform
  • Represent 31% of Tablet owners (only 25% of Smartphone owners)

There's quite a bit more data in the report, which can be downloaded for free.

As a broad takeaway marketers can now assume almost everyone above a certain income threshold is "cross platform." The minority are "smartphone only" or "PC only" (select younger and older users respectively).

Marketers can also reliably make the assumption that those under 45 are going to favor smartphones vs. PCs as primary devices in a wide range of categories. However people are also rational and prefer larger screens in many contexts (at least until mobile user experiences are improved).

By comparison tablet behaviors are still being established. However the tablet is typically used as a PC substitute (provided a larger screen) in the home.