Eye Wars: TV vs Mobile

July 9, 2014

And The Winner Is?

By: Emily Marroquin

Insights West and iamota’s smartphone study reports that mobile interaction has become the norm in daily life: British Columbians report spending almost equal time with their smartphones weekly (13.7 hours) as they do in front of their television screens (14.2 hours).

 Results show 68% of the province’s residents now own a smartphone, a number that smart-tv-smartphoneincreases to 93% for 18-34s, and to 75% among those aged 35-54. We tracked 26 activities and 74% of respondents claim their usage has increased since last year. The top activities include taking pictures (96%), texting (also 96%), sending and receiving e-mail (88%) and using GPS for maps and directions (77%). Marketers may be interested to see three-in-four (73%) users report researching products and services on their devices and 57% check product/services prices or reviews weekly while in stores.

 Mobile screen time is up 14% from last year. Smartphones are the preferred screen technology among 18-34s with 40% claiming to spend over 14 hours weekly in active use compared to only 1 to 7 hours in front of their television screens (30%). Among this same group, 44% claim to not use a desktop computer, 30% spend 1 to 7 hours using their laptops, and 37% report spending 1 to 7 hours on a tablet/iPad.

 socialMobile growth is a global phenomenon, not just a BC one. The GSMA Mobile Economy report reveals that, as of 2013, there are 3.2 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, including both smartphone and non-data devices. This number has increased by one billion in the last four years and is projected to increase to over 4 billion active users by 2017, representing 80% of the global population. The rate of growth, at 7.6 %, is four times faster than the world population. The region projected to see the highest growth is Asia Pacific, which is expected to add almost half of all new connections by 2017.

 As the usage rate of smartphones continues to grow, the gap between ad spending and screen time is disproportionate for TV vs. mobile devices. According to the Interactive Agency Bureau of Canada, $3.5 billion dollars were spent in TV advertising in 2012, compared to only $160 million in mobile advertising. The results of our study indicate however that the most consumer-driven and tech-savvy generation has their eyes glued to their smartphone screens not TVs, and marketers need to catch up.

For the Full Report go here.

Emily Marroquin is Research Manager at Insights West
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