Flurry Report Says Consumers Now Spend More Time on Mobile Devices than Watching TV
It seems like only yesterday when every single technology company was competing to develop a “second screen” designed for a better TV viewing experience. However, what was once considered to be a “second screen” seems poised to overtake “first screen” devices in terms of average time spent by users.
In a new report published by mobile analytics company Flurry, the company revealed that consumers in the U.S. today spend more time looking at their smartphones and tablets daily than they do watching TV. Data collected over the first nine months of 2014 suggest that the average time spent on mobile devices grew from 2 hours and 42 minutes, to 2 hours and 57 minutes during that time period, representing a growth of 9.3%. [See Figure 1]
In contrast, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that time spent watching television has remained flat for years, averaging at 2 hours and 48 minutes a day. [See Figure 2]
“We believe that there is plenty of overlap between the time spent on TV and that on mobile devices,” states Simon Khalaf in the Flurry report. “It is a tall order to believe that the smart device (and app) industry, which didn’t exist six and a half years ago, can take out an industry entrenched in every American household since the middle of the last century.”
Figures from Flurry’s report nonetheless show that people nowadays—especially consumers in the U.S.—use their smartphones and tablets as a “distraction” while spending time in front of the TV. Moreover, these mobile devices can also serve as a tool to enhance their TV viewing experience by allowing them to gain access to more information based on what they are watching.
As Khalaf puts it, these mobile devices are indeed “practical and are glued to consumers 24/7/365,” resulting in a significant shift in user behavior. Flurry also found that although mobile device usage continues to soar, the growth cannot be credited to top apps, as users only spend one percent of their time using apps ranked in the top 25. Surprisingly, data revealed a 21% increase in the time spent by users in “torso and tail” apps—a group of apps ranking outside the most popular charts. [See Figure 3]
Nonetheless, it’s clear that users today favor staring at their smartphones and tablets rather than actually watching television. More and more people are turning to a variety of mobile applications—whether to track their workout routines, monitor their food intake, play games, or complete other tasks.
Do you spend more time on your smartphone or tablet than watching television these days? What prompted you to make this shift? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
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