Commentary

Mobile Rising, But Desktop Isn't Declining

Although the percentages might suggest otherwise, the rise of mobile Internet access doesn’t spell the decline of desktop. Instead mobile Internet use appears to be additive to desktop Internet, the Wall Street Journal’s CMO blog points out, citing data from comScore and online analytics firm Chartbeat.

Data from comScore covering 2013-2015 shows that mobile Internet usage is indeed growing fast, from an average of just over 400 minutes per month in February 2013 to almost 900 minutes per month in April 2015. But over the same period desktop held steady at around 500 minutes per month, showing no serious variation.

Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile explains that mobile devices have “unlocked” new parts of the day for Internet usage, especially previously offline times in the morning and evening, when people are commuting (but hopefully not driving) as well as watching TV.

The findings reinforce the importance of truly cross-screen media strategies, as the old warhorse, desktop, still plays an important part in digital media consumption, increasingly handling specific tasks. For example desktop still dominates e-commerce, perhaps because of mobile security concerns, although mobile commerce is projected to pull even by 2018.

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