Content accessed on tablets varies by age of user
eMarketer estimates there will be nearly 70 million tablet users in the US by the end of this year, an increase of more than 100% over 2011, and that robust penetration gains will continue annually through 2015. Currently, around one in five consumers in the country uses such a device at least once per month, but research indicates not all those users are created equal.
A March survey conducted for Adobe by Keynote Systems found the tablet activity mix varied significantly by age. For all tablet owners under age 50, playing games was the most common activity. For the youngest tablet owners, ages 18 to 29, this was followed by shopping, reading books and email.
Email had a much greater importance among 30- to 49-year-olds, who were about twice as likely to use their tablets for email purposes than were their younger counterparts. For 50- to 64-year-olds, email was the most common tablet activity overall, with this group nearly three times as likely than the youngest users to say it was their most common tablet activity.
Users in the 30-to-49 age group were more likely to favor reading books and less likely to shop via their tablets than either the younger or older groups. Viewing videos was most popular among the 50-to-64-year-old group.
eMarketer estimates that around one-third of US tablet users this year are ages 18 to 34, with another 20.2% in the 35-to-44 age group and another third ages 45 and up. This fairly even split in user share by age group, combined with the variation in activities found by Adobe, suggests that overall US tablet usage is not uniform and encompasses a variety of activities depending on the age of the tablet owner. The fastest growth in tablet usage, meanwhile, is expected to occur among both the oldest and younger groups of users, potentially highlighting these variations further.
Differences in activities among the age groups studied by Adobe extended to their likelihood of clicking on mobile ads.
The youngest respondents were most likely to report having clicked on ads in a mobile app—including those on smartphones as well as tablets—though even among the oldest group, more than three in 10 had done so.
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