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26pc of US consumers own a tablet, smartphone and PC: Deloitte

samsung galaxy S4

Marketers want cross-device data for mobile targeting

The number of United States consumers who own a smartphone, tablet and PC device has grown 160 percent year-over-year, showing the growing appetite from users to devour content across multiple screens, according to a new report from Deloitte.

Deloitte's seventh annual "State of the Media Democracy" survey looks at how consumers’ attitudes and behaviors to media and advertising across digital platforms has changed. Overall, the report suggests that with more screens, consumers are gobbling up content nowadays.

"Consumers see each platform playing a distinct role, and that there’s value in owning all three," said Gerald Belson, vice chairman and sector leader for the U.S. media and entertainment sector at Deloitte, New York.

"With so much cross-over in terms of functionality, it’s clear that marketers, content owners, advertisers need to be thinking across multiple platforms more than ever," he said. "However, individual preferences are evolving as to which platforms are preferred for particular activities."

Mobile consumption

The Deloitte study includes responses from more than 2,100 consumers aged 14-years old or older in the United States. Results were collected from Nov. 8 – 21 last year.

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Not surprisingly, tablet ownership skyrocketed 177 percent in the past year. Thirty-six percent of the U.S. population owns a tablet, which is up from 13 percent in 2011.

Smartphone ownership increased by 28 percent, too. This means that 55 percent of the population owns a smartphone, marking an uptick from 43 percent in 2011.

Meanwhile, year-over-year laptop ownership did not change in the study. Seventy-five percent of consumers own a laptop. The same percentage of consumers owned a laptop in 2011. 

"Tablets aren’t just for the younger generations," Mr. Belson said.

"We expected to see an increase for the older generations, but we were surprised by the huge jump by these generations in not only ownership but also the value they place on the tablet," he said.

One-third of the tablet owners surveyed said that their device was one of their top three preferred electronic devices.

When it comes to how often consumers are using their devices, 46 percent of smartphone owners predicted that they would use their devices more in the coming year. Forty-two percent of tablet owners agreed that they would use their devices more this year.

Roughly 50 percent of both smartphone and tablet owners said that they would use their devices the same amount as last year.

Video explosion
Tablet owners are also using their devices to stream long-form content, per the study. In fact, tablet owners stream movies 70 percent more than non-tablet owners.

When it comes to what tablet owners anticipate to be watching more of in 2013, 38 percent of consumers said that they planned to watch more movies.

Twenty-five percent of tablet owners said that they would watch more professionally-created Internet content. Other top anticipated types of content include news, user-generated content, sports and 30-minute sitcoms.

In particular, the frequency of trailing millennials – which makes up consumers aged 14-23 years old – is growing.

This group of consumers has also doubled their use of online video services year-over-year.

These consumers increased watching TV shows via a smartphone by five times from the year before while tablet viewing for the demographic is up by 10 times.

Mobile devices are also increasingly being used in tandem with other devices. A whopping 80 percent of consumers multitask while watching television.

Browsing online and sending emails and text messages are two of the top activities that consumers do while watching TV.

Twenty-seven percent of consumers browse and surf the Internet, and 26 percent read email. Twenty-three percent of consumers text while watching TV.

Again, the trend is towards millennials multitasking while watching TV. Millennials engage with an average of four different activities while watching TV while Generation X consumers complete two additional activities.

Pointing to the growth of multiscreen viewing, consumers surveyed said that they preferred to rent versus own the movies that they watch by a two-to-one ratio.

"Our data suggests that it will continue to grow in importance," Mr. Belson said.

"Consumers are using smartphones and tablets in multiple ways and they are and want to consume more content over these devices," he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York

Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer. Reach her at lauren@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Research, Deloitte, mobile, mobile marketing

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