The number of Americans who own tablets is surging, and that’s good news for advertisers, according to the Online Publishers Association, which found that tablet users respond to advertising delivered via their devices -- and also spend a fair amount of money on purchases made with tablets.
Some 29% of tablet owners say they have researched a product in the last six months, while 23% have clicked on an ad, 20% have used a special offer or coupon, and 19% have visited a product Web site.
This is the second wave of a survey first conducted in 2011, allowing the OPA to identify and track developing trends among tablet owners.
Based on a survey of 2,540 Internet users conducted from March 19-26 by Frank N. Magid Associates, the OPA found that 31% of the U.S. Internet population currently owns a tablet -- up from 12% in 2011. That number is predicted to rise to 47% by early 2013, according to OPA President Pam Horan. The latter figure will equal 117.4 million U.S. consumers, based on a projected Internet population of 249.7 million in 2013.
Tablets are rapidly becoming embedded in consumers’ lives as a central component of their media consumption, the OPA survey found, with 60% of tablet owners using the device several times a day for an average of 13.9 hours per week. Most tablet usage takes place in the evening, with 59% of tablet owners using their devices between 5 and 8 p.m. and 53% using them between 8 and 11 p.m.
In terms of location, most tablet usage occurs in the home, but there is a significant proportion taking place outside the home. Overall, 67% of tablet usage (in terms of time spent) occurs in the home, compared to 15% at work or school, 14% in the car or commuting and 4% while shopping.
In regard to perceptions of tablet advertising, 37% of tablet owners said ads delivered via the device were “hard to ignore,” 33% called them “eye-catching,” 29% said they were “unique and interesting” and 28% thought they were “relevant.” Twenty-seven percent said they were motivated to purchase a product by tablet advertising, and 26% were motivated by ads to research products.
E-commerce is also a popular application, with 38% of tablet owners (some 23 million people) saying they have used their device to make an online purchase. That includes not only tablet apps -- where total spending is projected to increase from $1.4 billion in 2011 to $2.6 billion in 2012 -- but retail and apparel (21% of tablet users), consumer electronics (19%) and personal care and beauty (17%), among other categories.
Tablet users spent an average $359 on tablet purchases over the last 12 months.