Surprise! Look at Which Demographics are Focusing on Mobile

Wed Sep 6, 2017

Rachel Cagle

We’ve all been under the impression that the younger half of the population is significantly more mobile-driven than the older generations, but that may not still be the case in the future.

Overall, Comscore’s 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report found that 50% of America’s digital media usage time is consumed through smartphone apps, with smartphone web accounting for an additional seven percent. Desktop follows at 34% while tablet brings up the rear with its apps accounting for 7% and its web contributing two percent.

As expected, the younger age groups spend a majority of their digital consumption time on their smartphones:

  • Ages 18 – 24: 66% of their digital media time on apps (up 4% from last year)
  • Ages 25 – 34: 54% (a 3% decrease)
  • Ages 35 – 44: 53% (a 1% decrease)

Those numbers become even more impressive when Comscore points out just how many hours that totals. The 18 – 24 age group spends an average of 3.2 hours on smartphones apps every single day followed by ages 25 – 34 at 2.6 hours and ages 35 – 44 at 2.3 hours.

These groups’ mobile usage doesn’t stop at smartphone apps. When combining all smartphone and tablet usage studied, mobile accounts for 77% of 18 – 24 year-olds’ digital media usage, 69% for 25 – 34 year-olds, and 68% for 35 – 44 year-olds.

Now, with those numbers in mind, let’s take a look at the older age groups. Here’s how much of their digital media usage time is spent via smartphone apps:

  • Ages 45 – 54: 48% (a 3% increase)
  • Ages 55 – 64: 46% (a 3% increase)
  • Ages 65 and Over: 27% (a 7% increase)

While that is still 18 – 20% behind the youngest studied age group, smartphone apps take up nearly half of the digital media time for 45 – 64 year-old consumers. Mobile overall makes up 64% and 66% of digital media consumption time for consumers ages 45 – 54 and ages 55 – 64, respectively. The 65 and over group shouldn’t be overlooked either because, even though their smartphone app usage only came to 27%, mobile still accounts for nearly half (47%) of their digital media consumption time.

Here’s the kicker: while consumers ages 45 and over have been dedicating more time to smartphone apps, the 3% decrease in smartphone app usage by 25 – 34 year-olds was a result of that group spending more time on desktops. Desktops! 25 – 34 year-olds now spend 31% of their digital media usage time on desktops; that’s a 4% increase from last year. The 18 – 24 and 35 – 44 age groups are also following their lead with both groups’ desktop usage increasing by 1% last year, respectively.

So, while 18 – 24 year-olds are still the most active mobile users, consumers ages 45 and up are the ones who are making a more mobile-based shift. Let your mobile advertising clients know that it may be time for a shift in target demographics!

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About Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Brand Research Specialist at SalesFuel. She holds a Bachelors in English from The Ohio State University. She specializes in major accounts research for AdMall.

View all posts by Rachel Cagle
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