In the third quarter of last year, Nielsen says, 18-34 year-olds smartphone usage sank -- a lot. Down 61% -- nearly two hours/20 minutes less a day. This means their consumer usage now total two hours/53 minutes down from four hours/45 minutes the year before.
More at-home work and schooling did change everything last year. So we can imagine that means less on-the-go texting, speaking on the phone, and other messaging. But more than two hours day?
Was mobile activity transitioning to more permanent at-home digital media devices? Yes, but it was still minor.
Laptop and desktop usage of the internet rose three minutes (to 32 minutes a day) for that demo -- and two minutes more (to one hour/22 minutes) when it comes to TV-connected usage.
One side of the story to consider in all of this: For those young consumers, CTV daily usage is now more than live/time-shifted -- one hour/22 minutes versus one hour/12 minutes -- making 34s the first group to do this.
By itself, the drop in smartphone use alone would be alarming for one demographic group. But there was a change overall. The 18-34 demo witnessed overall daily media usage dropping almost two and a half hours -- to seven hours/38 minutes from 10 hours/5 minutes.
On the flip side, those at the other end of the demo spectrum -- those 65 years and older -- still spend the most time with media, 11 hours/53 minutes a day (down 55 minutes from a year ago). Still, that is almost five hours per day more than those 18-34s!
And for TV all is not lost with that older group. Those 65 years and old increased live/time shifted TV usage -- though not by much. (The only group to do so.) Those consumers added a minute to a leading six hours/39 minutes in the third quarter. However, the same group added 10 more minutes to those new premium TV connected platforms.
Is this a good story for major brand TV advertisers? Sure, we still have commercial time-shifted skipping and less messaging on CTV platforms. But any growth tells a story.