For Young Smartphone and Tablet Owners, Mobile is the Primary Entertainment Medium

October 14, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Mobile Phone | Tablet | TV Audiences & Consumption | Video | Youth & Gen X

Magid-Primary-Entertainment-Platforms-Among-Young-Mobile-Users-Oct2013Almost three-quarters of mobile consumers use a smartphone, according to results from a Frank N. Magid Associates survey, a figure well above recent estimates from comScore that put the figure closer to 60%, although that figure is based on ownership rather than use. Penetration figures aside, the survey finds that among 18-34-year-old smartphone and tablet users, a leading 35% count those devices as their primary entertainment medium, with 34% pointing to the laptop or PC and just 21% to the TV.

That result, along with the accompanying pronouncement that mobile is “becoming the beating heart of content” are certainly defensible positions. But it may be a little early for the researchers’ declaration that “mobile is the new TV.”

According to the study:

  • 44% of smartphone users and 61% of tablet users regularly watch video on those devices; and
  • 45% of smartphone viewers and 71% of tablet viewers watch long-form content, be that TV, movie or sports.

Taken together, those results suggest that somewhere around 1 in 5 smartphone users and 2 in 5 tablet users are watching long-form content on their devices. While those are certainly significant numbers, they’re by no means overwhelming, especially when one takes into account previous research indicating that mobile TV viewers spend the vast majority of their time watching TV on a traditional set. This chart sums up the disparity between traditional TV and mobile video consumption via more than 2 years of Nielsen data.

Still, there’s no doubt that mobile devices are growing as viewing platforms, and the survey data showing that young users rate them as their most important entertainment media is almost certainly a harbinger of what’s to come.

About the Data: The data is based on a nationally representative sample of 2,500 cell or smartphone owners ages 12-64. Data was collected between August 12-24, 2013.

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