Who uses mobile media devices?

Q1: Who uses mobile media devices?

2012 RJI Mobile Media News Consumption Survey

According to our findings, two-thirds of U.S. adults used at least one mobile media device in their daily lives during the first quarter of 2012. Smartphones and large media tablets are now the preferred mobile media devices. In the two years since Apple defined the large media tablet market with its iPad, nearly a third of all adult mobile device owners in the U.S. said they are using one. For news organizations and advertisers, users of these devices, especially those who own large media tablets, have appealing demographic profiles. They tend to be relatively affluent, well-educated and avid news consumers.

DEVICE CATEGORIES: Nearly 70 percent of mobile media device owners routinely used two or more mobile media devices. Sixty percent of all smartphone owners used at least one other mobile media device. More than half (51%) of all large media tablet owners also used an Apple iPhone. Among smartphone owners who used one or more additional mobile media devices, 44% owned an Apple iPhone, 37% owned a variety of Android-powered smartphone brands, 14% owned a Blackberry, and about 5% owned some other brand. The following table summarizes responses in each device category.

Device CategoryPercent of All RespondentsPercent of All Mobile Device OwnersMost Popular Brands in Each Device CategoryPercent of Brand Within Device Category
Smart Phones57%87%Apple iPhone39%
Large Media Tablets21%32%Apple iPad88%
Small Media Tablets8%12%Amazon Kindle Fire68%
E-Readers13%19%Amazon Kindle73%
Other Mobile Devices21%31%Apple*43%
*The other Apple mobile devices included the Apple iPod Touch (80%), Apple iPod (7%) and the unspecified Apple devices (11%)

The following table summarizes the percentage of all mobile device owners who used other devices in each device category (read from left to right).

Device CategorySmartphoneLarge Media TabletSmall Media TabletE-ReaderOther Mobile Device
Smart Phones100%33%10%17%27%
Large Media Tablets89%100%11%22%35%
Small Media Tablets71%30%100%28%36%
E-Readers73%36%17%100%35%
Other Mobile Devices74%21%35%14%100%
*The other Apple mobile devices included the Apple iPod Touch (80%), Apple iPod (7%) and the unspecified Apple devices (11%)

GENDER: Men are still somewhat more likely than women to use mobile media devices, but the gap appears to be closing. In this survey, men accounted for just over half of all device users. However, gender ratios varied significantly within device categories. Women accounted for more than half of the small media tablet and e-reader users.

Device CategorySmartphoneLarge Media TabletSmall Media TabletE-ReaderOther Mobile Device
Men60.3%63.6%48.8%45.4%54.3%
Women39.7%36.4%51.3%54.6%45.7%
All Device Users100%100%100%100%100%

AGE GROUPS: Individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 represented the largest percentage of mobile media device users (45%). More than half (51%) of the non-mobile device users were ages 55 or older.

Age GroupPercent Mobile Device UsersPercent Non-Mobile Device UsersPercent All Respondents
Age 18-3444.9%18.7%36.3%
Age 35-5432.4%30.2%31.7%
Age 55 or Older22.7%51.1%32.1%
All Respondents100%100%100%

Individual users between the ages of 35 and 54 tended to own more mobile media devices than users in other age groups. The following table shows the percentage of all mobile media device owners in each age group who used devices in the five main categories.

Age GroupSmartphoneLarge Media TabletSmall Media TabletE-ReaderOther Mobile Device
Age 18-3492.7%27.9%8.6%15.6%30.9%
Age 35-5481.1%39.2%16.1%17.5%33.2%
Age 55 or Older73.0%28.3%12.5%27.6%28.3%
All Respondents84.5%31.6%11.9%19.0%31.0%

INCOME GROUPS: Mobile media device users tended to have higher incomes than non-users of mobile media devices. Among all respondents who indicated that they had an annual household income of $75,000 or more, 81% were mobile device users.

Income GroupPercent Mobile Device UsersPercent Non-Mobile Device UsersPercent All Respondents
Less Than $75,000/Year59.4%40.6%100%
More Than $75,000/Year81.3%18.7%100%

More than three quarters of the non-users of mobile media devices reported an annual household income of less than $75,000. Among mobile media device users, those with annual household incomes above and below $75,000 were nearly equal.

Income GroupPercent Mobile Device UsersPercent Non-Mobile Device UsersPercent All Respondents
Less Than $75,000/Year52.8%76.8%60.4%
More Than $75,000/Year47.2%23.2%39.6%
All Respondents100%100%100%

The following table compares the income ranges of mobile media owners in the five main categories of mobile devices.

Income GroupSmartphoneLarge Media TabletSmall Media TabletE-ReaderOther Mobile Device
Less Than $75,000/Year52.2%40.8%48.0%51.7%53.3%
More Than $75,000/Year47.8%59.2%52.0%48.3%46.7%
All Respondents100%100%100%100%100%

Income differences were significantly more pronounced for different brands within each device category. For example, 50.8% of smartphone users with an annual household income of $75,000 or more owned an Apple iPhone. Conversely, 50.4% of smartphone users with an annual household income of less than $75,000 owned an Android-powered smartphone. The following table compares income ranges between smartphone brands and large media tablet brands.

Income GroupAndroid SmartphoneApple iPhoneBlackberry Smartphone Android Large Media TabletApple iPad
Less Than $75,000/Year63.9%38.5%41.3%61.5%39.1%
More Than $75,000/Year36.1%61.5%58.7%38.5%60.9%
All Respondents100%100%100%100%100%

EDUCATION: Mobile media device users tended to include a significantly higher percentage of individuals with university degrees than non-users of mobile media devices.

EducationPercent Mobile Device UsersPercent Non-Mobile Device UsersPercent All Respondents
No University Degrees44.5%58.3%49.1%
4-Year & Advanced Degrees55.5%41.7%50.9%
All Respondents100%100%100%

Differences in educational levels also were somewhat more pronounced for different brands within each device category. For example, 48.0% of smartphone users without a 4-year university degree owned an Android-powered smartphone. Conversely, 44.5% of smartphone users with a 4-year or advanced university degree owned an Apple iPhone. The following table compares educational levels between smartphone brands and large media tablet brands.

EducationAndroid SmartphoneApple iPhoneBlackberry SmartphoneAndroid Large Media TabletApple iPad
No University Degrees51.3%36.0%36.1%43.7%32.8%
4-Year & Advanced Degrees48.7%64.0%63.9%56.3%67.2%
All Respondents100%100%100%100%100%

PRINT SUBSCRIBERS: Nearly equal percentages of mobile media device users and non-users said they subscribed to at least one newspaper or newsmagazine. This suggests that users of mobile media devices are not abandoning print media at a faster rate than non-users of mobile devices.

Print SubscribersPercent Mobile Device UsersPercent Non-Mobile Device UsersPercent All Respondents
Yes39.8%40.2%39.9%
No60.2%59.8%60.1%
All Respondents100%100%100%

Nearly half of the Apple iPad owners indicated that they still subscribed to printed newspapers or newsmagazines. Only a quarter of the Android-powered large media tablet owners said they subscribed. Apple iPhone and Blackberry owners also were significantly more likely to be printed newspaper or newsmagazine subscribers than were owners of Android-powered smartphones. The following table compares the percentages of print news subscribers between smartphone brands and large media tablet brands.

Print SubscribersAdroid SmartphoneApple iPhoneBlackberry SmartphoneAndroid Large Media TabletApple iPad
Yes31.9%43.2%49.3%25.0%48.1%
No68.1%56.8%50.7%75.0%51.9%
All Respondents100%100%100%100%100%

For more information, contact Roger Fidler at fidlerr@rjionline.org.

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