Mobile-Only Internet Use Grows

The desktop-only world is shrinking. Smartphones are taking over. And that means marketers and advertisers will need to keep building for increasingly mobile-centric video users.

Research firm eMarketer released new figures this week reporting that there are only 17.9 million desktop- and laptop-only Internet users in the U.S., a dip from 20.3 million the year before. Expect that number to keep declining, eMarketer said.

Meanwhile, the mobile phone is becoming the “default device” for Web access. That means designing ads and programming content for the smallest screen (as most creators are already doing) is quickly becoming the new baseline. The number of mobile-only users will reach 52.3 million by 2021, up from 40.7 million this year.

Many users rely on both desktop and mobile. More than three-quarters of Internet users will access the Web via both a mobile phone and a PC this year, but the growth in mobile-only use underscores the shifting nature of consumer viewing behavior toward the cell phone.

In other data news, while OTT usage has been growing at a rapid clip, so are cancellations. About 19% of users nix their over-the-top service within the first year, Parks Associates said.

While these churn figures are high, they don’t seem to be stopping this sector from growing. The key to long-term success for OTT providers will be in developing retention strategies to combat the churn, Parks said.

Meanwhile, TV consumption on Internet-connected devices, such as Roku, Apple TV and Google Chromecast, rose more than 50% year over year and comprised nearly 10% of total TV viewing for adults 18 to 49 in January, according to Pivotal Research.

1 comment about "Mobile-Only Internet Use Grows ".
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  1. craig kleber from TLC, March 5, 2017 at 9:43 a.m.

    As viewing becomes more weighted to mobile vs. desktop I think it is worth noting that it is weighting not total migration, so an "and" not "or" approach to planning for media needs to be taken. Moreover it will always be the case that some content, needs and opportunity will favor one or the other. On a large healthcare brand we saw that both bigger and small screen were necessary to create a complete experience. We saw this by looking at the data in a more holistic (media, content and business analytics merged) fashion and not the dangerous efficiency myopia which can be a very false precision. For example we saw good media efficiency in the Hawaii market for small screen only, but the business case for using small screen only was dire, like thousands of dollars per lead, whereas it was only tens of dollars  with big screen. Armed with that the mobile only strategy was proven wrong. 

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