Commentary

Phones And Tablets Are Go-To For Downloading

According to a new study by Limelight Networks, the State of Digital Downloads report, 45% of consumers are more likely to download digital content of all types than they were a year ago. And, in just the past few months the smartphone has displaced the PC as the dominant device for the download and consumption of content. 62% of users downloaded content onto Android-based smartphones, while 43% of Apple’s iPad and 45% Android tablets led the way as the prevalent destination for content downloads.

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Beyond OS updates, consumers are leaning mostly toward entertainment for downloading on these mobile devices:

  • New apps (33%)
  • Video games (18%)
  • And movies and tv shows (13%)

The bulk of downloading occurs at night, as the hours of 6 p.m.-midnight are “prime time” for acquiring and consuming entertainment, says the report. More than 40% download movies and TV shows during these hours, with 35% similarly downloading video games and music.

A number of interesting insights were uncovered in the study, says the report:

  • The mobile phone is the most dominant device for downloading content. Beyond OS updates, Movies/TV Shows, Music, and Apps are the most popular downloads
  • Consumers tend to download most often at night
  • Download speed is critical to providing a great experience
  • When things go wrong with downloading, ISPs are blamed
  • Google is winning the content war but Apple isn’t far behind
  • When it comes to downloading content, consumers want control.
  • Android is the most dominant smartphone for downloading content but comes in second with tablets

Jason Thibeault, senior director, content marketing at Limelight Networks, says  “… mobile devices are never more than an arm’s length away… (and) have overtaken the PC and laptop for content downloads… statistics in 2015 showed the smartphone being utilized more regularly than other devices for accessing the Internet… used to be among the Millennial set… now it’s a universal truth…”

From sun-up to sun-down, consumers are downloading movies, TV shows, apps, music, and more to a variety of devices, a habit that is growing year-over-year. With the prevalence of Android devices in the market the Google Play store leads the way as the destination for downloading content, and Android devices (especially smartphones) are the dominant mobile device.

Type Of Device To Which Most Often Content Downloaded (Rank 1-4, Lowest Score/Most Frequent)

Device

Most Often Downloaded Rank

My cellphone

2.2

Personal computer

2.3

A tablet

2.7

Video game console

3.2

E-book reader

3.3

Wearable devices such as a watch

3.5

Source: Limelight State of Digital Downloads, April 2016

The shift to wireless devices brought a swing in expectations, the smaller the screen, the greater the impatience, particularly among Millennial users. A slowdown or interruption in downloads leads to consumer frustration, as 26% cite “it takes too long to complete the download” as the most significant impediment to enjoying a great digital experience and blame is directed toward mobile carriers or cable broadband providers. This is particularly true among younger users who download the most content, are the most easily frustrated, and quickest to ascribe blame when the download experience was less than optimal.

In response, the report say that organizations must ensure that content is available 24/7/365 and that consumers trust the source from which it is being delivered to guarantee the best possible download experience, says the report. And, organizations must address the multi-device nature of consumer behavior (especially relevant for videos and other multimedia content) in order to deliver a positive experience regardless of the device employed to download the content.

Consumers are most often downloading content at nighttime, indicating that is the prime-time for digital content consumption as well (especially for movies/television shows and music). 

Most Downloading At Night

 

Time of Download

Content

Morning(6am-12pm)

Afternoon(12pm-6pm)

Nighttime(6pm-12am)

Overnight(12am-6am)

Never

Movies/TV shows

9.24%1

9.73%

40.36%

6.13%

24.53%

Video games/game updates

8.21%

25.98%

34.73%

5.36%

25.71%

Updates to my phone’s operating system

16.58%

23.67%

36.44%

11.35%

11.97%

New apps/updates to apps

16.40%

27.63%

37.08%

8.47%

10.43%

E-books

6.38%

18.51%

25.52%

6.02%

43.58%

Music

9.18%

26.29%

35.92%

5.53%

23.08%

Newspaper/magazines

14.11%

14.82%

19.32%

4.13%

47.62%

Source: Limelight State of Digital Downloads, April 2016

The results of the survey uncovered that frustration around content downloading is growing for users (especially Millennials). Although there are many factors that can cause interruption to a download, says the report, the growing number of DDoS attacks could be a leading cause, even if not directed at you. It’s possible, suggests the report, that your download portal or website could be collateral damage, one property coming under attack could spill over, saturating links within the datacenter and making it difficult for users to reach your software. 

Based on the analysis of the survey results, the report has the following recommendations:

  • Content security is critical and should be approached in layers
  • Multi-device delivery is a must
  • Employ a CDN to accelerate your downloads and the download website

For additional information from Limelight, please visit here.

 

 

1 comment about "Phones And Tablets Are Go-To For Downloading".
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  1. Jim Nico from The Social Network StationĀ®, April 16, 2016 at 7:38 a.m.

    Thank you for this excellent and important article.

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