Mobile Phones Now Account for 17% of Total Time Spent With the Internet

December 19, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Email | Media & Entertainment | Mobile Phone | Social Media

GfK-Time-Spent-with-Internet-by-Device-2012-v-2011-Dec2012People are spending more time accessing the internet from a variety of non-PC connected devices, finds GfK in a new report. While desktop and laptop computers accounted for 83% of total time spent online last year, that dropped by 10% points to 73% this year. Picking up the slack were mobile devices: mobile phones now account for 17% of time spent with the internet (up 42% from 12%), and tablets 6% (double last year’s 3%).

The remaining 4% of time spent online this year was via connected TVs, and that’s also double last year’s 2%.

Smartphone and PC Online Priorities Differ Signficantly

GfK-Internet-Time-Spent-by-Activity-and-Device-Dec2012The GfK study analyzes the breakdown of how internet time is spent on smartphones versus computers, identifying some interesting differences. For example, social media captures 31% of smartphone internet time, compared to 18% of PC internet time. (That result aligns neatly with recent data from Nielsen, which found consumers devoting 30% of their mobile time to social networks in July of this year, versus 20% of their PC time.)

In another significant disparity, GfK reveals that online video commands an almost 50% greater share of PC than smartphone internet time (13% vs. 9%). Consumers spend a slightly larger share of PC than smartphone time with search (11% vs. 9%), mail (18% vs. 16%), and blogging (4 vs. 3%), while the opposite is true for audio (6% smartphone vs. 3% PC). That last data point is not too surprising, given the growth in popularity of music-listening on mobile devices, as tracked by comScore.

Other Findings:

  • GfK’s data reveals that consumers spend almost twice as much time accessing social networks from their smartphones as they do emailing from their devices. On computers, the amount of time spent with email and social was the same.
  • Time spent on PCs accessing online video has almost doubled, from 7% share in 2011 to 13% this year. The share of time spent with email and social media also grew. According to the Nielsen report (see link above), while social media’s PC audience size actually decreased by 5% year-over-year in July, time spent with social media via PCs jumped by 24%.

About the Data: The GfK findings are from MultiMedia Mentor, which tracks use of 8 major media, and are based on interviews with 2,616 members of KnowledgePanel, the only commercially available online panel derived from a statistically projectable sample of the US population. Interviewing for the latest wave of Mentor data was conducted between February and July 2012 with panel members aged 13 to 64.


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