Content convergence on the mobile platform will accelerate trends
More than 79% of Americans have a mobile phone as of 2010, according to eMarketer estimates, making them a highly personal third screen in just about everyone’s pocket.
But when asked about their “necessities,” US consumers ranked cellphones squarely in the middle of various household devices and technologies, according to a May 2010 Pew Research Center survey.
Whether respondents felt they needed various devices, however, was sharply dependent on age. Millennials (consumers ages 18 to 29) were more than twice as likely to label cellphones a necessity compared with seniors (59% vs. 29%).
Home computers and high-speed internet also showed the same trend, with dependence decreasing as age increased. Meanwhile, landlines, televisions, cable service and flat-screen TVs showed the opposite pattern: Older respondents considered these items necessary at much higher rates.
It is well documented that cell phones are increasing in importance at the expense of landlines, and it is no surprise that younger consumers are leading the way. Going forward, these trends will most likely accelerate and expand to other realms. For instance, dependence on actual television sets may continue to decrease as many smartphones now include video capabilities. Even the need for a “home computer” is coming into question as current smartphones and other mobile devices such as tablets perform many basic personal computing tasks like web browsing, email and games.
Mobile phones play a huge part in the lives of young Americans and will have an increasingly dominant role for those of all ages. And with entertaining content a major draw—and revenue source—on both mobile phones and tablets like the iPad, the mobile opportunity for publishers and marketers alike is wide open.
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Check out today’s other article, “Cybercrime Still a Major Concern.”