For UK Mothers, It's All About Smartphones and Social Media - eMarketer

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For UK Mothers, It's All About Smartphones and Social Media

Digital usage differs from women without children

June 19, 2017

When it comes to online access and activity, mothers in the UK differ from nonmothers by both device preference and content choice, according to a recent study by UKOM and comScore Inc.

Based on January 2017 usage data, the report found that UK women ages 25 to 54 with children in their households spent most of their time online (59%) via smartphone. By comparison, among women in that age group without children at home, the smartphone figure was a more modest 48%. The nonmothers spent comparatively more time on desktop computers (35%) than did the women with kids at home (26%).

The device usage patterns were similar for men, with male parents of kids at home also overindexing for smartphone time spent online compared with child-free men in the UK ages 25 to 54.

Parenthood also appeared to influence the types of content accessed online. The study found that mothers spent over 2 hours more on social media per month than nonmothers, and nearly that much more time on entertainment sites. But mothers spent more than 2 hours less on news or information sites than did women without children in the home.

Difference in Average Monthly Time Spent Online via Smartphone Among UK Mother vs. Nonmother Smartphone Users, by Category, Jan 2017 (minutes)

While not addressed in this study, some of the difference between mothers and nonmothers could be related to device access. A separate study by UKOM and comScore measuring mobile-only internet users in the UK in December 2016 found 18% of mothers with children at home went online exclusively via smartphones or tablets, the highest rate for any demographic examined.

UK mothers aren’t unique when it comes to smartphones as their primary internet access device. A Q3 2016 Nielsen study, for example, found US mothers ages 18 to 49 with children under the age of 12 spent approximately triple the amount of time online on their smartphones in an average week than on either tablets or PCs.

—Cliff Annicelli

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