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Deloitte-US-Device-Ownership-Trends-2011-2013-Apr2014The rising penetration of both smartphones and tablets has been well documented (see here and here for examples). In its latest annual “Digital Democracy Survey,” Deloitte offers another perspective, finding that 37% of Americans aged 14 and older own a trio of devices – laptop, smartphone and tablet – as of late 2013, up from 26% in late 2012 and 10% the year before. Not surprisingly, Millennials are leading the charge, although Gen Xers are close behind.

According to the study, 51% of both trailing (aged 14-24) and leading (aged 25-30) Millennials are “digital omnivores.” Not to be outdone, some 46% of Gen Xers (31-47) also own all 3 devices.

The overall adoption rate is being dragged down by Boomers (48-66) and Matures (67+), of whom only 22% and 11%, respectively, have adopted all 3 devices.

In terms of overall penetration rates by device, the study indicates that:

  • 81% of Americans aged 14 and up now own a laptop, up from 75% during the prior 2 years;
  • 65% own a smartphone, up from 55% a year earlier and 43% the year before; and
  • An impressive 48% own a tablet, up from 36% a year earlier and just 13% the year before.

Meanwhile, among the 37% of respondents who count as “digital omnivores,” 45% are women.

Predictably, as consumers adopt more connected devices, their media consumption habits change. In this latest survey, Deloitte finds that trailing Millennials estimate that they spend more time watching movies and/or TV shows on connected devices (56% share) than on TVs (44% share). While this group watches more content on TV than on any other single device, the combination of viewing on desktops/laptops (32%), smartphones (9% share), gaming devices (8%) and tablets (7%) means that the traditional TV set no longer occupies the majority of their viewing time.

That’s not the case – yet – for other generations. TV maintains a slim majority share (53% share) of time spent watching movies and/or TV shows among trailing Millennials, while retaining a more solid footing for Gen Xers (70% share), Boomers (88% share) and Matures (92%).

Those patterns are in line with recent figures from The Diffusion Group, which found 18-24-year-olds claiming to watch more TV content from online sources than from live TV broadcasts. As with the Deloitte study, online consumption patterns drastically decreased as the age bracket measured increased.

Both studies stand in contrast to Nielsen data, which suggests that youth continue to watch far more TV on traditional sets than on connected devices.

As for pay-TV, the Deloitte study provides yet more data suggesting that the cord-cutting trend has slowed. Only 3% of respondents reported having cancelled their paid services in the prior 12 months, unchanged from the year-earlier survey. And 1 in 10 said they do not – and did not have – pay-TV services, down from 12% a year earlier. Recent figures from the Leichtman Research Group revealed that pay-TV providers lost just 0.1% share of subscribers last year.

About the Data: Fielded by an independent research firm from 11/22/2013 to 12/5/2013, the Deloitte survey employed an online methodology among 2,075 U.S. consumers. All data was weighted back to the most recent census to give a representative view US consumer behavior.

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