How the iPad, iPhone, and Other Connected Devices are Changing our Digital Media Consumption Habits

Oct 11, 2011


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On October 10, 2011, comScore released a report titled "Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing U.S. Digital Media Consumption Habits." The report's aim was to uncover the impact of mobile devices, those beyond the computer, on the direction of digital media and digital content distribution and consumption.
The term "digital omnivore" refers to the fact that we, as consumers, are now accessing content through a number of devices, both at work and on the go. Just a few years ago, Internet access and, therefore, digital media consumption was tied to the desktop or home computer. Now, access to online content is at our fingertips at all times. This trend has impacted both the type of content we consume and how we consume it.
Here's a summary of the report's key findings:

  • Five world markets (US, UK, Singapore, Japan, and Australia) had more than 5% of overall Internet traffic coming from connected devices.
  • Tablets are gaining steam, but smartphones lead the way, with two-thirds of Internet traffic coming from mobile phones.
  • In the U.S., mobile broadband adoption and increases in WiFi availability are helping drive the growth. 37.2% of smartphone traffic comes through a WiFi connection, and nearly 10% of tablet traffic comes through a mobile network connection.
  • Smartphone adoption in the U.S. now sits at 36.1% of Americans age 13 and older.
  • iPads, iPhones, and other iOS devices make up the largest share of connected devices in the US with 43.1% of the total market.
  • iPads deliver a staggering 97.2% of all tablet traffic in the U.S.
  • Tablet users tend to be young males in upper income brackets, the typical "early adopters" of technology.
  • News consumption is a big use of tablets, with nearly 60% of tablet owners accessing world, national, or local news.
  • 75% of tablet users access e-mail with the device.
  • Tablets are used for real-time social networking, with 60% of tablet owners updating their status or commenting on other's.
  • Nearly 50% of tablet owners have used their device for e-commerce.

As mentioned above, this is a summary of the key findings of the comScore report. A copy of the full, 33-page report, which contains much more data of interest, is available for download from comScore. For content creators and publishers, mobile access of content seems to be reaching a "tipping point," and the reach of mobile devices is becoming more and more significant.