More time is now spent on mobile than TV

By March 8, 2012Mobile

inmobi just surveyed 20,000 users in 18 different markets to understand how much time they spend on different media and how much they are using mobile. The results in the infographic below give an interesting snapshot of how far mobile has penetrated into our lives.

The headline figure is that more time is now spent looking at mobile phones than at televisions. PCs are still out in front.

Beyond that we see that people are making an impact in just about all areas, but there is plenty of scope for the impact to increase. E.g. 11% of people have had an in-store purchase influenced by mobile. That is a lot of people, but equally there are 89% who have yet to be touched in this way.

This already significant level of activity coupled with the massive growth rates we keep hearing about for all things mobile (e.g. mcommerce growth of 91% 2010-2011) suggests to me that we will feel the force of mobile in a big big way this year.

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  • Atul Monga

    Very interesting indeed. A few thoughts though:

    1) Not sure which were the 18 markets covered, but if one adjusts the findings for non-smartphone users, the percentage of those who have had an instore purchase influenced by their use of mobile phones should rise quite significantly.

    2) On chart 5, not sure where “helped you find a cheaper price” fits in, but that is likely to be the single biggest game changer for shops that charge higher prices but offer a price-match option with other shops but will not do so for prices on online channels. You can already see some shops taking bar codes away from their display products. In my own experience, the number of friends and family who have the right applications, say HUKD, Red Laser/Code Reader, ebay/Amazon/Gumtree/Craigslist, Groupon/Voucher Cloud, Clubcard/Nectar Online, etc. to influence their purchase decisions is still very very limited. But word of mouth is helping these apps proliferate quite rapidly, producing a second order effect beyond the spread of smartphones themselves.

    3) I still think mobile advertising is a red herring and unless they can be contextualised they are hardly likely to influence purchase decisions. I would much rather see a voucher alert on my phone for a particular product/shop when instore than an advert which is somewhere in the background and will not be seen perhaps until after I’ve already made a purchase!

    On a separate note, despite mobile phones surpassing TV in terms of number of minutes spent, TV is still a very important medium given that we have very limited access to a TV set during the day whereas the mobile is with us from our morning tea (no offence to coffee drinkers!) until bed-time.

  • Thanks Atul. More detail on the parameters of the survey would definitely have helped.
    To your point 2 – you are the first to tell me of retailers pulling bar codes from their stores to stop people scanning and comparing prices online. It’s not surprising to hear though. On the other hand some retailers (e.g. Dixons) are adopting a best price policy and encouraging people to compare online whilst they are in store. They think that will encourage more people to buy before they leave the store, when there is a risk they won’t come back even if the price is the best available.
    On 3 – mobile advertising linked to mcommerce of physical goods is still in its infancy, but we have seen enough successful app download and click to call campaigns to know that mobile advertising is a viable medium.

  • Atul Monga

    Thanks Nick. Both very fair points and hardly surprising that Google and Apple have bought mobile (cum tablet) focused advertising businesses.

    For mobile advertising, there is a great opportunity to get the context right (location, search history, profile, etc.) and target adverts appropriately given the benefit that it is the most active device around me tracking my most recent activity, movements/location and web browsing history and also has the instant call-back feature. That is what I find lacking at the moment, and this is where web-based advertising failed to deliver or had limitations and set-top boxes are struggling to get right too.

    Will mobiles get it more right than other platforms? I know it is too early, but I think they will. Soon.

    P.S. Sitting in my office right now, I can see an advert for in my HUKD app, Kingdom of Camelot games (I don’t play or have games on my phone), and Orange home broadband in another app!

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