Consumers to marketers: it’s still a phone, stupid. Despite the many opportunities that smartphones allow for digital interactivity with content and marketing, it's still about the people we know.
According to the latest mobile and digital panel data from Experian Marketing Services’ Simmons Connect, smartphone owners spend 58 minutes a day using their device, but 26% of that time is spent talking. Another 20% is spent on text messaging. And 16% is spent on social networking. That means in all, about 62% of time spent with smartphones is aimed at making personal connections.
In fact, visiting Web sites on phones takes up only about 14% of users' time, while email takes up 9%, games make up 8% and other assorted activities amount to 9%.
There is, however, considerable disparity between the major operating systems. For instance, the iPhone user on average is engaging with the device for one hour and 15 minutes a day compared to the Android phone user who is spending only 49 minutes a day with the device. Android owners are spending a higher share (28%) of their time in voice communications compared to the 22% spent by iPhone owners. But Android phones see more use going to mobile Web browsing (16%) than the iPhone (12%).
Experian warns that these statistics are averaged across all smartphone users, and so some activities like mobile video watching barely register because there are still a great many smartphone owners who don’t stream media to their devices. On any given day, only 2.3% of smartphone owners watch a video. On a daily basis, the most prevalent activities across smartphone owners are talking (79%), texting (76%), visiting Web sites (62%), emailing (61%) and social networking (52%).
So for all of the hand-wringing about the mobile monetization gap, it is best to keep in mind that the actual share of time being spent in places where marketers have an opportunity to grab a user’s attention is actually much smaller than we often like to think.