The firm also found that mobile content users spend about the same amount of time with mobile media -- at 39 minutes -- as the average user does texting (39 minutes) or talking on their phones (44 minutes). Not surprisingly, people also spend longer periods playing games, listening to music and social networking on mobile devices than on more utilitarian fare such as news, weather and sports scores.
Mobile social networking is still mainly the province of young users, with 80% of participants 18 to 34 years old -- while news is consumed mostly by those 18 to 54.
"Young people are driving a lot of the mobile content usage," according to Vicki Cohen, executive vice president at Frank N. Magid Associates. "Anything entertainment-oriented is a draw for the younger demo -- games, music, movie times, entertainment news -- it all exhibits a big opportunity for companies targeting younger demographic groups."
In that vein, the study found that 72% of kids 12 to 17 accessed mobile content weekly and more than half buy mobile content regularly.
By contrast, people who avoid mobile content say they are turned off by the cost -- mobile video or other programming typically requires a mobile data plan, and may require additional fees on top of that. They also just don't crave entertainment on the go.
"Lack of familiarity with mobile content and no clear perception of value are the primary barriers for non-users, who are more likely to be older Americans. The perception that it has to do with the handset isn't entirely true," says Jill Rosengard Hill, senior vice resident at the firm.
Income is another factor. Subscribers in households earning more than $100,000 a year are more likely to use mobile content then less affluent consumers. In particular, they are about three times as likely to access business-related information and twice as likely to use their phones to shop online.
The findings were based on an online survey conducted in January and including a representative national sample of 4,000 U.S. wireless customers between the ages of 12 and 64.