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Consumers spending more time consuming mobile than print media: study

According to an eMarketer study, consumers are spending more time on their mobile phones than interacting with print media during the course of a day.

The study looked at how much time during a typical day consumers spend interacting with different media. The study also found that although mobile usage is increasingly growing, mobile advertising spend is still slightly behind.

?Mobile phones are the one device people carry with them at all times, and although the usage might not be in a solid block of time, over the course of the day, we depend on it for so many things that the amount of media time with mobile devices continues to grow and outpace other media,? said Noah Elkin, principal analyst at eMarketer, New York.

Time shift
According to the eMarketer forecast, the average consumer spends 65 minutes per day on their mobile phones, which represents a 30 percent year-to-year increase.

To compare, consumers spend a combined time of 44 minutes consuming both newspaper and magazine content daily.

Consumers are also spending more time online compared to last year. The average user spends 167 minutes per day on the Web, increasing 7.7 percent from 2010.

Video and television continue to dominate consumers? attention and time though with the average person watching 274 minutes of video or TV content daily.

Between all mediums, which also included radio and other mediums, consumers digested a total of 693 minutes of media time per day.

According to Mr. Elkin, part of the reason why consumers are spending less time interacting with print is because of the publishing industry?s shift away from traditional forms.

?With print, part of the change is that more content is being consolidated on digital platforms so people are consuming the information in different formats,? Mr. Elkin said.

?The time spent with mobile phones will continue to increase in the future and the pace of growth will continue to grow to be higher than other forms of media,? he said.

Missed ad spend
In addition to seeing where consumers are spending their time, the study also looked at how ad spend is spread across all mediums.

Although mobile had the highest year-to-year growth rate, the channel only accounts for .9 percent of ad spend.

Magazines were allocated an average of 9.7 percent of ad spend, and newspapers received 15 percent.

TV grossed the largest percentage of ad spend with 42.2 percent.

Web advertising also received a large chunk of money, representing 21.9 percent of ad spend.

Although the ratio between mobile usage and ad spend may seem off, it is important to remember that marketers determine ad spend based on more factors than time, per Mr. Elkin.

To integrate mobile into existing ad spend, marketers can think of ways to combine traditional marketing with mobile because mobile users tend to have high multitasking behavior.

As an example, mobile agency Razorfish recently released a report that found marketers were not jumping on mobile users? multitasking behavior enough to capture mobile users (see story).

?Certain channels are better at specific things than others,? Mr. Elkin said.

?A 30-second TV spot will never have the same impact on a 4-inch screen,? he said.

?It took quite a long time for the amount of Internet usage to match the media spent, and mobile ad spend increases every year and continues to be healthy.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York