Indian YouTube channel will soon dethrone PewDiePie in subscriptions

T-Series, a YouTube channel dedicated to Indian music videos, will soon surpass PewDiePie as the most subscribed account on YouTube, according to Tubular Labs. PewDiePie — a Swedish vlogger best known for his video game commentaries — has 67 million subscribers to his channel, inching just ahead of T-Series at 66 million subscribers.

But the latter is growing at a more rapid clip — T-Series expanded its subscriber base by 4.2 million in September against PewDiePie’s 863,000 — and Tubular predicts the Bollywood channel will hit No. 1 next week. The data underscores the growing importance of India — and the greater Asia-Pacific (APAC) region — for US-based tech companies as the next major market for expansion.

Here’s why India is a strategic international market, and how some major tech firms are starting to adjust their strategies:

– Smartphone penetration is still growing, and sits well below 50%. India’s smartphone users are estimated to reach 466 million — or 34% of the population — by 2020, up from 308 million (24% penetration) in 2018, per eMarketer. Smartphone users in the US stand at 252 million, good for 77% of the population, so the opportunity to grow customers domestically pales in comparison to the opportunity in APAC. While China has the largest base of smartphone users on Earth, US-based companies have struggled to launch there because of strict regulation. India presents the best opportunity to reach a massive, largely untapped market.

– India has the world’s fastest-growing economy. While access to a large and growing audience is a vital step in international expansion, companies still need a viable way to monetize audiences once they reach them. The Indian economy is the fastest-growing in the world, forecast to jump 7.3% year-over-year (YoY) in 2019, and 7.6% YoY in 2020, according to the Asian Development Bank. The twin factors of an accelerating economy and steady smartphone penetration are positive signs that demand for advertising and subscription-based services will continue to rise in the country.

– Streaming giants are localizing content to cater to Indian consumers. Netflix is launching local content across the globe, but the streamer is particularly bullish on the Indian market. Earlier this year, when Netflix’s global subscribers stood around 120 million, CEO Reed Hastings claimed: “the next 100 million is from India.” Meanwhile, the number of Amazon Prime Video users in India is growing faster than any other country, according to its Head of International Originals, James Farrell.

– Facebook has more users in India than in any other country. The social giant’s monthly active user base in India stands at 251 million, higher than in the US & Canada where it has 241 million users. And Facebook-owned WhatsApp is India’s most-used app, according to comScore. For now though, Facebook’s main role in India is serious damage control after misinformation campaigns have led to dozens of lynchings, per CNN.

The increasing western influence could spark Indian government to impose new rules and regulations on American tech companies. Last summer, the country’s Supreme Court declared that Indians have a fundamental right to privacy, and pushed Parliament to pass a data privacy law, according to The New York Times.

Potential legislation could hinder growth in India, or limit how user data can be used by tech, much like GDPR in Europe. In the meantime, global companies should start thinking about localization strategies to capture a piece of the market.

Source: businessinsider.com; 25 Oct 2018

“Indians consuming more mobile data than US and China combined”: Rajan Anandan, Google

The Google India chief was speaking at the annual AAAI Subhas Ghosal memorial lecture 2018 in Mumbai last evening

“India is at an incredible place when it comes to the digital economy,” said Rajan Anandan, VP Google India and South East Asia as he opened his address to a gathering of senior advertising executives at the AAAI Subhas Ghosal memorial lecture 2018.

Speaking about the behaviour of “The new Indian internet user” Anandan added that most of the new users are accessing the Internet on their phone pointing out that 70 percent of phones shipped into India have a 2 GB RAM or more. Despite the acute affordability constraints, phones are getting better and better, he said.

He said that the large scale consumption of data is driven by affordability. The street price per GB of data has come down from 3 USD to 30 Cents in India leading to an 18x growth in the internet consumption.

Indians were consuming 8 GB of data per month compared to developed markets like the UK where the average user consumption was still at 3 GB. He added that India was consuming more mobile data than US and China combined. “The affordable mobile data constraint is solved now.”

Anandan said the major development was that most of the new users were consuming the internet in their local language. He said when the new internet users were also setting new trends as there had been a 270 percent growth in voice searches and a 400 per cent increase in Hindi voice searches over the internet over the last 12 months. “There has been an explosive growth of voice,” he said.

According to him, Internet usage behaviour had leapfrogged from message first to video first, and said that the time spent on video versus social had shifted largely in favour of video. “Data is cheap and video is intuitive,” he said.

He added that the growing adoption of e commerce and payments would result in an increase in transactions from USD 2 Bn or 2 percent of total retail in 2017 to 200 Bn in 2025.

However, he points out that the 95 MN internet shoppers in India only spent an average of 224 USD compared to USD 1850 spends by Chinese Internet shoppers per year. He said that over 50 million Indians had tried e-commerce once, but never bought again suggesting that players need to increase their service levels significantly.

Anandan added that digital payments volumes growing rapidly driven by UPI. He said that the potential was a Trillion dollars over the next five years.

Highlighting the advantages for India in an AI first world, he said that AI start-ups were driving growth across sectors, citing the examples of Niramai and sig tuple in medical diagnostics or byju in learning.

He ended by saying that the key sectors that would be transformed by the Internet included, agricultural, financial inclusion, public transportation, education and healthcare. “The real need is to solve for India,” he said.

Source: campaignindia.in; 21 Sep 2018

Chinese spend 2 hours, 39 minutes on mobile every day: eMarketer

Contrary to popular belief, mobile screen time is only overtaking TV viewing time in China starting this year. But, mobile video time is growing by about 25% per year.

Smaller screens are set to eclipse television sets in terms of viewing time for the first time in China this year, according to a media forecast report by eMarketer.

Citing digital video as a key driver for increased mobile time, the report estimates that Chinese adults will spend 2 hours and 39 minutes a day on mobile devices. That accounts for close to half of their daily media time (41.6%), up 11.1 % compared to last year.

Nevertheless, TV viewing time is expected to decline by only 2%, to 2 hours and 32 minutes a day, making up 39.8% of daily media time.

The report further estimates that Chinese adults will spend 58 minutes per day this year watching video on mobile, up by nearly 26% year over year. They are expected to spend almost a third of their daily digital time watching video by 2020.

Shelleen Shum, forecasting director at eMarketer, noted that both commercial and user-generated content have had explosive growth over the past year. “Short video apps like Xigua and Kuaishou have received heavy investment in the past year to help commercialise content,” she said. “Ecommerce and news aggregator apps have also used short video content as a way to increase engagement among users.”

However, brand-safety issues and crackdowns by authorities may be a concern for advertisers on these popular platforms. News aggregator app Toutiao, as well as short video apps Kuaishou and Douyin came under scrutiny recently for misleading advertisements and inappropriate content.

Meanwhile, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent also announced investment into short video content during the past year. An eMarketer report released in January predicted that close to 229 million Chinese would watch video on OTT platforms this year. That amounts to about 37% of digital viewers in China, while more than two-fifths of digital viewers in China will subscribe to OTT services by 2019.

Source: campaignasia.com; 19 Apr 2018

Advertisers turn to PMPs on mobile amid ongoing brand safety concerns

Private marketplaces (PMP) are a more and more effective way for publishers to monetize their inventory using programmatic technologies, as advertisers increasingly embrace automation but also seek assurances over where such technologies will place their ads.

These are the findings contained in the latest Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) study from PubMatic, which found that mobile ad impressions monetized via PMPs rose by 37% year-over-year in Q4 2017, representing the eighth consecutive period of such growth.

As a result, mobile PMP inventory prices were at a 155% premium, compared to those paid for the average mobile impression available on an open exchange throughout 2017, according to PubMatic, with researchers concluding that more supply-control equates to more profit for publishers.

Separate studies by the IAB demonstrate how mobile now represents over half of all digital ad spend from 2016 onwards, with the market valued at circa $40bn per year in the US alone, and programmatic a strong driver of that growth.

However, in spite of the clear benefits of incorporating such technologies into their online advertising strategies, such as cost and workflow efficiencies, many tier-one marketers have been left red-faced by repeated high profile examples of brand safety blunders in recent years.

Some have championed PMPs as a hybrid solution for advertisers with such concerns, as such an offering typically sees premium media owners invite their highest-spending advertisers to have first option on its higher quality inventory in a bidding scenario.

Rajeev Goel, PubMatic chief executive officer, said the findings represent “a shift toward supply chain integrity and quality” as advertisers increasingly seek the efficiencies posed by automated technologies.

“We expect this trend towards quality and programmatic direct to continue in 2018 as advertisers increasingly demand higher standards for transacting,” he said, adding that publishers also need to be provided with “greater visibility and control.”

To take advantage of this trend, last year PubMatic inked a deal with AnyClip giving it “preferred partner” status whereby it would take responsibility for the monetization of in-stream and out-steam ad formats for the online video resource.

Elsewhere in the study, it highlights the emergence of header bidding as a means for publishers to monetize their inventory, with researchers commenting that it has “moved into the mainstream” as of Q4 2017.

Mobile web experienced 121% year-over-year growth in header bidding impression volume in Q4 2017, more closely aligning with desktop inventory, which experienced an 81% year-over-year impression growth rate over the same period.

As publishers deepened their header bidding expertise, the popularity of hybrid solutions offering both client- and server-side integrations, such as PubMatic’s OpenWrap, rose from 13.6% to 20.7% adoption rate between September and December 2017, according to the company.

Further findings contained in PubMatic’s latest QMI report, based on insights gleaned from over 10 trillion monthly bid requests, can be downloaded for free here.

Source: thedrum.com; 20 Feb 2018

Data Shows Tablets Driving Highest Click-Through Rates

Tablet impressions drove 1.13% click-through rates that were the highest of any device in many categories such as Automotive, Consumer product Goods, Education, Financial, Food & Drink, Government, Home & Garden — and, yes, even Retail, Technology, Travel and Utilities.

The Drawbridge Q3 2017 Cross-Device Advertising Benchmark Report analyses billions of impressions served from July 1, 2017, through September 30, 2017, across every vertical, device, and format to identify trends. The data notes the likelihood of the types of devices consumers will use to click through advertisements to the company’s landing page to complete a task or make a purchase.

Marketers that disregard targeting on tablets may want to rethink their strategy. The third-quarter numbers from 2017 released by Drawbridge on Wednesday show considerable gains on tablets, especially when comparing CTRs from advertisements served on desktops and smartphones.

“Tablets are not replacing desktops, which was once predicted,” said Brian Ferrario, vice president of marketing at Drawbridge. “If anything tablets are merging with phones. Every device is becoming mobile, and the trick is to be present when the consumer is.”

Creatives should not be limited to just a few formats that are presumed to be the highest-performing, he said. The more dimensions and formats the better, as it’s critical to get consumers’ attention at the right time with those incremental touches across devices, so you need to run the gamut with everything and optimize from there based on what’s working.

Desktop ads saw an overall CTR of 0.03% and smartphone placements drove 0.49% CTR, Interstitial ads on smartphone and tablet helped drive higher CTRs on those devices.

Smartphones did well in some categories like Entertainment and Health & Fitness, but for the most part consumers seem to prefer a larger screen. For example, the CTR for the Retail category hovered somewhere around 0.25% in third-quarter 2017 on a smartphone, but came in at about 0.75% on tablets.

Utilities drove the highest CTR on tablets at 2.42%. The highest percentage came in third-quarter 2017 at 0.96%. Ecommerce came in with a quarterly high CTR of 0.67% in second-quarter 2017.

Video completion rates were also high on tablets, more so than any other device during the third quarter of 2017. Rates hit a high of 73.98% in the first quarter of 2017, dropped to 59.30% in the second quarter and then rose to nearly 70% in third-quarter 2017. The completion rates were based on video starts of a combination of skippable and non-skippable ads in 20-, 30-, and 60-second formats.

While tablets held the highest video completion rates in the third quarter of 2017, smartphones saw the highest rates in the first quarter of 2017, with 75.79%.

Source: mediapost.com; 20 Dec 2017

Has smartphone usage fallen among young people?

According to new research by Kantar TNS, smartphone usage has fallen among 16 – 24-year olds for the first time.

The report states that mobile device owners in that age group spend an average of 2.8 hours using their phones daily. This is down from 3.9 hours last year. While this doesn’t sound like a lot, it is significant for a number of reasons.

Firstly, if accurate, it seems to fly contrary to the conventional wisdom that people (especially young people) are spending more time on their devices. Secondly, if the dip is indicative of the beginnings of a perception among young people that they are spending too much time on their devices, this could have wide-ranging effects across the marketing and advertising industry.

“Thanks to the growing number of social media channels and a consumer demand for everything on-the-go, I don’t see this decline as reflective of a nation looking to move away from mobile phones,” Josh Krichefski, CEO of MediaCom UK, said.

“Smartphone penetration is now at 85% of all adults, and video – which companies like Facebook and Twitter have invested in massively of late – is now most viewed on a mobile; video consumption has more than trebled in the last five years and it’s only going to keep increasing.”

“Too late to put the genie back in the bottle”

34% of the young people interviewed as part of the study reported feeling that they spend too much time on their phones and said that they want to cut down on their usage time.

There is, however, a disconnect between intention and action, as the 16 – 24-year-old age group still spend significantly more time on their phones than any other. The 3.8 hour daily average is way above the 2.4 hour average across other generations.

“According to our own research, there’s been a significant rise in teenagers, in particular, viewing TV on smartphones. This is most likely due to phones getting bigger and content optimised to fit them, allowing teens to tap into their favourite shows and entertainment channels on-the-go and when it suits them,” continued Krichefski.

“Young people now have greater autonomy over how and when they watch TV, and so one reason for the decline in smartphone usage could be the popularity of ‘multiscreen’ services, allowing the viewer to pick up exactly where they left off when watching content between devices – Sky Q is a good example of this. The smartphone, though, isn’t going away anytime soon.”

One of the authors of the report, Michael Nicholas, agrees that the findings most likely don’t signal the end of mass smartphone usage.

“It’s too late to put the genie back in the bottle — phones are too entwined in our everyday lives, so we’re not likely to see many young people taking the radical decision to ditch them,” he said.

“However, there’s clearly a conflict between our perceptions on phone usage and acting on it.”

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 31 Oct 2017

‘Segment of one’, the future of consumer marketing

Think with Google’s Guest Editor, Unilever’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed, shares his perspective on the shift from mass marketing to mass customization and how brands will adapt.

The connected world and the ubiquity of technology have rewritten the rules of building brands, innovation, media, creativity, and retail forever. While the internet served as the enabler for this transformation, the real driver has undoubtedly been the mobile phone.

Mobile is unlocking consumer control, empowerment, and choice to an extent we have never seen before, driving a hyper-segmentation revolution. As we move from mass marketing to massive customization—from focusing on averages to individuals—I believe that in the future we will build brands in segments of one. For marketers who have traditionally created and marketed brands to the dominant majority—the largest segment—this means thinking about marketing very differently than in the past.

Who is today’s consumer?

Today’s hyper-empowered, tech-augmented consumers are increasingly in control of the branded messages they receive and how they shop for brands. As micro-moment behaviour—where people instinctively turn to their device to act upon a need—becomes the norm, consumers’ expectations of value, convenience, and immediacy of response from brands are becoming increasingly demanding.

Search is absolutely central here, acting as the filter that enables the empowered consumer to get what they want, when they want, wherever they want. People—myself included—can’t remember what it was like not to be able to do things before their mobile was in their pocket.

This gives rise to two key characteristics of today’s consumer: immediacy and relevance. For example, searches for “open now” have tripled since 2015 and mobile searches related to “same-day shipping” have grown over 120% since 2015. And when it comes to relevance, expectation is accelerating rapidly. Since early this year, the volume for local searches without including the specification “near me” have outgrown comparable searches which did include it.

What does this mean for brands?

For brands to be allowed a part in the hyper-empowered consumer’s life, they have to be able to both anticipate and assist with their needs. This means being relevant, tailored, and personal—a huge shift from when brands (especially CPG businesses like Unilever) tended to be built for the masses. And they need to do it all in real time, in context, in the language.

There is a huge opportunity here for brands to help simplify lives in this complex world—to make massive choice digestible. Just think about how long it takes you to shop in a foreign supermarket where you don’t know the brands. Similarly, brands can help simplify the online world of seemingly never ending content to help organize people’s experiences in a connected world.

So what should marketers be doing?

It can certainly feel daunting and at times overwhelming to face this new world order. But I genuinely believe that there has never been a more exciting time to be in marketing. Still, what does all this mean for marketers in the day to day? In practice, I think it means three things.

Put people first. Leverage data to deeply understand the new and complex consumer journey, and be clear where your brand should be present to add the most value. Keep your consumer as the true north to connect with them on a one-to-one basis.

Cut through the clutter and build brand love by standing for something meaningful. People don’t just want a product to buy, they want an idea to buy into. Millennials and Gen Z show us time and time again that they want brands rooted in purpose and doing good for the world. Once that purpose is clear, it allows brands to create engaging experiences that sustain a far longer and richer consumer conversation than simply talking about a new product variant or a seasonal promotion.

Unlock the magical combination of data-driven consumer understanding and brilliant purpose-led creative to build deep and meaningful one-to-one relationships at scale. Marketing is magic plus logic, art plus science. Never before have we as marketers had the ability for the logic half of the equation that data affords us today. At the same time—as consumer attention is more selective—never before have we had such a need for the magic. At Unilever we have an ambition to have a billion one-to-one relationships—I don’t believe that a focus on the individual has to mean “niche.”

Mobile is rewriting communication and commerce, changing the relationship between brands and people forever. And with half of the world still waiting to join the online world, we are only at the foothills of what is possible. The brands that lead this, providing consumers with a frictionless experience online and off, are the brands that will win in the future.

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com; Oct 2017

Apple’s decision to limit cookie tracking upends targeted mobile advertising

The repercussions of Apple’s recent decision to limit cookie tracking on the new Safari 11 browser will be felt by all advertisers across mobile.

With cookie data restricted after 24 hours and purged after 30 days, Apple’s intelligent tracking prevention (ITP) means marketers’ ability to deliver targeted campaigns is hampered.

In the United States, where Safari accounts for more than half the mobile browser market, ITP has produced a strong reaction, with six trade associations from the digital advertising community having published an open letter objecting to the development.

Cookie crumbles

On the surface this is about advertising, and Apple putting pressure on the advertising ecosystem formed around its rival, Google. But when the trade associations wrote, “The infrastructure of the modern Internet depends on consistent and generally applicable standards for cookies,” they touched on the real war being fought, of which ITP is the latest battle.

The sustainable strategic advantages lie in the widespread use of proprietary unique persistent identifiers. Whoever scales its identifier can lay claim to a large slice of “the infrastructure of the modern Internet” and the benefits that will bring.

But GAFA – Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – are not the only industry players with access to valuable identifiers.

Mobile network operators (MNOs) – the sleeping giants sitting on a telecoms market worth more than $1 trillion – have their own massively scaled mobile identifiers: billions of them, matched against real customers with real billing relationships at their root.

Apple’s announcement could be just the trigger MNOs need to make use of their own identifiers.

So, what makes identifiers the key currency of the digital advertising world, and, in an era of global data protection regulations, how can wireless carriers take advantage of Apple’s decision?

Value of identity

In an increasingly competitive landscape, brands depend on accurate and current consumer profiles to deliver relevant, personalized messaging.

Continuous consumer interaction with digital technology produces vast amounts of valuable information about who they are, what they are interested in, and how they behave, but to be used for effective targeting, each piece of data must be linked back to the consumer using some form of identifier.

Propriety persistent IDs – which are embedded directly into a device operating system (OS) or formed from registration based log-in data – are a more effective identifier than the traditional cookie in today’s mobile-first world.

The dominant propriety persistent IDs in the market are owned by Google, Facebook and Apple, allowing these companies to offer brands precisely targeted advertising opportunities. Anyone hoping to rival these ad-tech giants must have equally powerful persistent IDs at their disposal.

Publishers are already throwing their hat into the identifier ring.

In France, more than 20 publishers have banded together to challenge the “duopoly” of Facebook and Google, while Germany’s Verimi data platform initiative includes heavyweights Axel Springer, Lufthansa, Deutsche Bank and Allianz.

But it is hard to see how these publisher-driven models are anything more than walled gardens that will find it hard to scale beyond their members.

MNOs hold a wealth of first-party data

Mobile operators are uniquely placed to offer an alternative to the ad-tech giants as they have an abundance of deterministic first-party data that is verified with the customer.

More than three-quarters (77 percent) of U.S. citizens now own a smartphone – which are consistently switched on and always to-hand – providing a wealth of granular data relating to location and context, alongside more traditional demographic and behavioural information, all linked back to a persistent device ID.

Verizon’s acquisition of AOL and Yahoo, and the creation of Oath, is a signal of the potential that some MNOs see in the combination of identifiers and data attributes.

By making use of this in-depth, real-time data, brands can be far more creative with their advertising campaigns, reaching the right audience at the right moment with insightful, relevant and personalized messaging that builds enduring consumer relationships.

Challenges of data privacy and control

But making use of this mobile data to offer targeted advertising is not without its challenges, and there are two key obstacles for MNOs to overcome, the first of which is privacy.

While brands and advertisers increasingly understand the power and value of data, so do consumers, and the call for personal information to be protected grows ever louder.

High-profile data breaches – such as the recent Equifax scandal, which exposed the data of up to 143 million U.S. consumers – dramatically illustrate the need for data protection measures, and new privacy laws such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will have a global impact on data monetization practices.

The second issue faced by MNOs is one of control.

To achieve the scale necessary for effective monetization, their data must be combined with information from other providers and released to advertisers via the open ecosystem. But in taking this path, MNOs risk losing control of their data and diluting its value.

Dynamic de-identification is the answer

To capitalize on the valuable information they hold, without jeopardizing customer privacy, falling foul of data laws or losing control of their data, MNOs need ad-tech solutions that help them make the most of their persistent identifiers.

One possible solution is dynamic de-identification, which takes persistent IDs and converts them into non-persistent tokenized IDs.

Unlike persistent, dynamically changing identifiers make it impossible to identify the data subject, called “unlinkability.” They also allow proportional use of data where only the level of data attributes necessary for a specific task is revealed.

When MNO data is transformed into hyper-accurate verified profiles that are linked to tokenized IDs, it can be used for accurate targeting across multiple channels and devices without the raw customer data attached to a persistent ID ever leaving the MNO’s secure network environment.

As the data cannot be linked to individuals, its use remains compliant with data regulations, and is likely to be more acceptable to customers, providing the process is clearly outlined in conversations with them.

The need for detailed consumer profiles to inform relevant personalized advertising experiences continues to grow – especially now that Apple is effectively making the cookie obsolete – and MNOs are ideally placed to fulfil that need.

By joining forces with ad-tech vendors and moving away from persistent IDs, MNOs could create a mobile identity ecosystem to rival the likes of Apple, Google and Facebook, while remaining compliant with privacy laws, building consumer trust and retaining control of their valuable raw data.

Source: luxurydaily.com; 13 Oct 2017

India’s Mobile Ad Spending to Grow 85% This Year

A growing demand for smartphones will fuel mobile ad expenditures

Traditional media still takes the majority of ad spend in India, but mobile platforms are becoming increasingly popular with advertisers. This year, mobile ad spending in India is expected to increase by 85.0%, which will help boost overall digital ad spend to $1.21 billion, according to eMarketer’s latest media ad spend forecast.

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Further double-digit growth for mobile is predicted over the next few years; by 2021, mobile will account for just under 62.0% of digital ad spending’s $2.80 billion.

The growing demand for smartphones—which are becoming more affordable in India—coupled with strong social network usage has led advertisers to increase their ad budgets on mobile alongside traditional media options. In 2017, smartphones will make up 36.6% of all mobile phone users; come 2021, this share will rise to 47.4%, eMarketer estimates.

Additionally, mobile social networking has also been booming in popularity in India. This year, it is expected to rise 24.3% to reach more than a quarter (26.8%) of all mobile phone users and three-quarters (74.9%) of social network users.

Despite this, traditional media still continues to hold its own in India, with TV taking the majority of ad budgets. eMarketer forecasts that TV will take $3.13 billion of media ad dollars in 2017, equating to 39.3% of media ad spend.

“While television continues to be the most popular advertising medium, digital is the fastest growing, with ad spending recording double-digit growth rates up to 2021,” said Shelleen Shum, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer.

“Driven by increasing mobile internet penetration, falling data prices and the availability of low-cost handsets, mobile will be a major contributor to the growth of digital advertising in the years to come as marketers embrace this channel to reach a new generation of young and digitally savvy consumers,” she said.

Source: emarketer.com; 5 Oct 2017

Well now: Mobile usage is even bigger than you think

Study: Time spent on smartphones has double in just the past three years

We laughingly say we’re addicted to our phones and joke about finger injuries caused by too much texting.

But do you know exactly how much you use your phone? Do you know how much we all do?

It’s become a shockingly dominant pastime. In fact, Millennials spend more time on mobile than they do watching live TV, and TV’s big advantage among adults 35-49 is shrinking.

That’s according to a new report from comScore, which examines cross-platform media consumption.

It finds that smartphone usage has not simply grown over the past three years. It’s actually doubled.

In that same period, tablet usage is up 26 percent, while desktop usage is down 8 percent.

Interestingly, time with smartphones doesn’t seem to be replacing desktop – it’s not shrinking fast enough to draw that conclusion. Instead, smartphones offer people additional time on the internet when they wouldn’t have otherwise been going online, such as when they’re out of the house or watching television.

The study found the average person spends two hours and 51 minutes a day on mobile. Per month, that translates into more than a trillion minutes of smartphone usage across America.

ComScore notes that’s roughly double the usage for desktop at its peak.

Mobile now accounts for 70 percent of all digital media time. It’s little wonder, then, that advertisers are rapidly moving their dollars to mobile. They need to be where the eyeballs are.

A recent forecast from ZenithOptimedia predicted that worldwide mobile spending will top desktop for the first time this year, and eMarketer puts mobile at nearly one-fifth of overall U.S. ad dollars.

Catching up to TV
Among young people, mobile has already caught up to TV in time spent. Millennials spend 23.1 hours per week on their smartphones, compared with 19.1 hours watching live TV.

By contrast, adults 35-54 remain more devoted to live TV (26.6 hours) than their phones (18.5 hours), but the gap is getting smaller.

This is, in part, why digital overtook TV as the No. 1 advertising medium last year. Advertisers want to reach young people, and the place to find them is now online rather than via TV.

Mobile vs. desktop
Perhaps another question is how long until desktop disappears entirely—will that ever happen? ComScore notes almost one in eight internet users currently are mobile-only. The number’s much higher among younger users, with nearly a quarter of women 18-24 mobile-only.

Does that mean desktop will someday die out? Probably not entirely. Desktops remain practical options for work, and some people simply don’t have the desire to be connected 24-7.

Still, that number is clearly dwindling—and the people who do use desktop are of less interest to advertisers than the Millennials who are chained to their smartphones.

Source: medialifemagazine.com; 23 March 2017