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Millennial mothers in China are heavy smartphone users—and based on recent research, they lead many of their peers around the world in usage. In a December 2014 study by BabyCenter and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), smartphone penetration among millennial mother internet users in China was higher than among those in any other country studied.
Fully 95% of females in China ages 18 to 32 who were expecting or had children under 9 years old reported using a smartphone. Canada and the UK came in a close second, both at 94%, while the US trailed by 5 percentage points and Brazil by nearly 20 points.
Smartphone internet usage grabbed the largest share of China’s millennial mothers’ time spent with media, at 32%—higher than the device type’s portion among respondents from every other country. Across the other countries studied, smartphones didn’t account for more than 28% of millennial mothers’ media time. Respondents in China were also the only ones who spent the largest amount of media time with smartphone internet; TV led in Brazil and, even more so, the UK, while time spent with the television set tied with that on smartphones in Canada and the US.
All this time spent means millennial mothers in China were most likely to see ads on smartphones. Just under half (49%) of respondents from the country said they frequently saw advertising on smartphones—the largest percentage among all devices and media studied, and pushing digital’s total response rate to 54%. Second-place laptop/PCs was cited by 36%, and TV ranked third, at 33%.
Brazil was the only other country studied where a higher percentage of millennial mother internet users said they saw advertising most frequently on smartphones—59%—while around one-third of respondents from Canada, the UK or the US cited such devices.
China has a significantly larger male population, which has led men to have a substantially bigger smartphone audience than women. eMarketer estimates that there will be 289.6 million male smartphone users in China this year, accounting for 52.5% of the total audience. Comparably, China’s 262.0 million female smartphone users will represent 47.5% of all users. The share gap between male and female smartphone users, however, will diminish annually as more women take up smartphones. By 2018, the gender gap currently seen among China’s smartphone users will be nearly nonexistent.
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