Consumers are using their smartphones as much for entertainment purposes as they are for communications — including texting and calling.
According to new research from GfK MRI, consumers say they spend about 22% of their time on their smartphones playing games, watching streamed content, listening to music or surfing the Web. They report spending the same amount of time using their phones for texting or making calls. Social media and e-mail only account for about 10% each.
“We know texting is so important to consumers, but to see entertainment as important, that’s interesting and actionable into the future,” Karen Ramspacher, senior vice president of consumer insight and trends at GfK MRI, tells Marketing Daily. “I think it’s going to continue to grow, and it will be interesting to see what happens next year when we do this study again.”
Despite the equal amounts of time spent texting and talking on their smartphones, more than two-thirds (68%) of consumers and more than four-fifths (83%) of Millennials said they talk more than text on their smartphones. They also reported they would miss the texting feature most if it were not available.
The study divided smartphone users into five categories ranging from Mobile Embracers, who integrate their devices into every aspects of their lives (about 24% of users), to Mobile Fundamentals, who are awkward users who need help downloading an ap. In between are Entertainment Seekers (15%), Casual Gamers (18%) and Info Seekers (18%).
Regardless of what category they fit into, the information suggests marketers need to be sure they’ve got a strong mobile strategy to reach consumers, Ramspacher says. “Think about what your can offer, where you’re advertising, how you’re going to reach people and what they’re doing,” she says.