What are owners doing with the mobile media devices?

Q2: What are owners doing with their mobile media devices?

2012 RJI Mobile Media News Consumption Survey

The rapid adoption of Apple iPads and comparable large media tablets is clearly disrupting the way people engage with the digital world. Tablets also are fostering new media habits that are directly impacting news organizations worldwide. Journalists and news executives can take some encouragement from knowing that nearly all surveys, including this one, have found consuming news to be one of the most popular uses for tablets, even among owners ages 18-34.

But the surveys also reveal that owners of mobile media devices are a diverse lot. Their diversity can be seen in their access to and use of an ever-widening array of entertainment, social media and personal utility applications. All of these thousands upon thousands of products are aggressively competing with mobile news applications, which are proliferating as well, for the time, attention and money of mobile media consumers.

After devoting more than two months to mining the wealth of data gathered by this survey, we are beginning to construct more detailed profiles of mobile media consumers that news organizations should be able to apply in their development and implementation of tablet-specific strategies.

Key Insights From This Survey

  • Media consumers’ ages and the mobile devices they own are mildly predictive of what they will use their devices for and the amount of time they will spend using different categories of applications.
  • As might be expected, the percentages and average amounts of time spent with each activity varies significantly between age groups and device groupings.
  • Media consumers ages 18-34 tend to spend significantly more time using their mobile media devices for nearly all categories of applications than those in older age groups.
  • Well over half of all mobile media owners in all age groups tend to use their devices to keep up with news provided by news organizations.
  • Owners of Apple iPads in all age groups were much more likely to consume news provided by news organizations and to average more time doing so than those who did not own Apple iPads.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the results of this survey show that young adults are seriously interested in consuming news provided by news organizations. Two-thirds (67%) of media consumers ages 18-34 said they used their mobile media devices to access news provided by news organizations for an average of 5.0 hours per week. Of those who also owned Apple iPads, 84% said they accessed news provided by news organizations for an average of 7.3 hours per week.
  • Media consumers ages 55 or older were somewhat less likely than those in younger age groups to consume news using their mobile media devices. Nearly three-out-of-five (58%) respondents in this age group said they used their mobile media devices to access news provided by news organizations for an average of 4.0 hours per week.
  • The lower use of mobile media devices for consuming news by owners in the 55 or older age group may be influenced by the higher percentage of people in this age group who subscribe to printed newspapers and newsmagazines. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the mobile device owners in this age group indicated that they are print subscribers. Only about one quarter (26%) of mobile media device owners in the 18-34 age group were subscribers to print media.
  • Social media was the third most popular category of activities after interpersonal communication and entertainment with media consumers ages 18-34. Nearly three-quarters (73%) spent an average of nearly six hours (5.9) per week using their mobile media devices for this activity.
  • Leisure reading was the third most popular activity after interpersonal communication and entertainment for media consumers ages 55 or older. Six-out-of-ten overall used their mobile media devices for leisure reading of digital books and magazines an average of 3.6 hours per week. Of those who owned a small media tablet such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, nearly 9-out-of-10 used their mobile media devices for this activity an average of 9.2 hours per week. Not surprisingly, all media consumers who owned e-readers in this age group said they used their mobile media devices primarily for leisure reading an average of 8.3 hours per week.
  • Media consumers ages 35-54 tend to use more types of mobile media devices in their daily lives than those in younger or older age groups. This age group averaged 1.9 mobile devices per user overall. Those in the 18-34 and 55 or older age groups averaged 1.7 mobile devices per user.
  • Owners of Apple iPads and other comparable large media tablets in all age groups tend to use significantly more types of mobile media devices in their daily lives than those who did not own iPads.
  • Media consumers overall are most likely to use their mobile media devices for interpersonal communication and entertainment. As percentages of actual users, both categories ranked first or second across nearly all users of the individual devices and groups of devices.

Usage overall: The following table summarizes the percentage of all mobile device owners who said they actually used their devices to engage in the following activities during the seven days prior to taking the survey. Note that a significantly higher percentage of Apple iPad owners (84%) said they used their mobile media devices to keep up with the news. The percentage was slightly lower (82%) for owners of all brands of large media tablets. The order of ranking is based on the percentages in the all mobile devices column.

ALL MOBILE DEVICE OWNERSPERCENTAGE OF ACTUAL USERS
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**All Mobile DevicesSmart Phone OnlyApple iPad Plus*Small Tablet Plus*E-Reader Plus*Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication89%95%93%79%83%88%
Entertainment74%62%86%79%73%83%
Web other than for News70%71%80%63%64%75%
Keeping up with the News63%57%84%56%64%71%
Social Media and Networks61%53%67%63%60%73%
Leisure Reading55%28%74%85%97%61%
Financial Activities49%42%64%49%50%61%
Creating, Managing Content42%36%48%42%41%54%
Work Related40%31%61%42%43%46%
E-Commerce35%22%49%44%43%46%
Education23%14%32%35%27%33%
Other Activities9%10%9%7%5%11%
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

All mobile media device owners also were asked to estimate the number of hours they were engaged in each of the following activities during the seven days prior to taking the survey.

Average hours of usage by all actual users: The following table summarizes the average number of hours of usage per week for all mobile device owners who said they actually used their devices to engage in the following activities. The number of hours can be slightly skewed by heavy users in some categories, especially those in which the numbers and percentages of actual users were relatively low. To avoid unrealistic skewing of the results, 56 respondents who obviously overestimated the amount of time they spent with each activity were not include in these averages. Except for the smartphone only column, the estimates include usage of all mobile media devices owned by the respondents. The order of ranking is based on the average hours of usage in the all mobile devices column.

ALL ACTUAL USERSAVERAGE HOURS PER WEEK OVERALL
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**All Mobile DevicesSmart Phone OnlyApple iPad Plus*Small Tablet Plus*E-Reader Plus*Other Mobile Plus*
Entertainment10.710.911.412.19.113.6
Interpersonal Communication10.611.011.313.09.412.4
Work Related7.98.19.911.110.711.5
Education6.97.17.75.17.49.3
Leisure Reading6.16.06.57.86.85.8
Social Media and Networks5.96.17.14.64.45.4
Keeping up with the News5.04.96.19.16.06.7
Web other than for News5.05.26.04.94.16.7
Other Activities4.24.54.55.25.24.9
Creating, Managing Content3.73.83.94.55.04.5
Financial Activities2.42.52.51.82.02.4
E-Commerce1.91.91.82.52.22.2
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Average hours of usage by all owners (users and non-users): The following table summarizes the average number of hours of usage per week overall for all mobile device owners. The average hours in this table include actual users as well as those who did not engage in these activities.

ALL USERSAVERAGE HOURS PER WEEK OVERALL
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**All Mobile DevicesSmart Phone OnlyApple iPad Plus*Small Tablet Plus*E-Reader Plus*Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication9.210.910.310.07.510.6
Entertainment7.76.09.69.36.411.0
Social Media and Networks3.53.44.62.82.63.8
Web other than for News3.43.04.73.02.54.9
Leisure Reading3.31.44.76.56.33.4
Keeping up with the News3.12.35.14.93.74.6
Work Related3.11.65.94.54.45.1
Education1.60.42.41.71.92.9
Creating, Managing Content1.50.81.81.82.02.3
Financial Activities1.21.21.80.91.01.4
E-Commerce0.60.40.91.10.90.9
Other Activities0.40.30.40.40.30.5
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Usage by respondents ages 18-34: Owners in this age group overall were most likely to use their mobile media devices for interpersonal communication, entertainment and social media.

The following table summarizes the percentage of all mobile device owners ages 18-34 who said they actually used their devices to engage in the following activities during the seven days prior to taking the survey. The order of ranking is based on the percentages in the all mobile devices column.

MOBILE DEVICE OWNERS AGES 18-34PERCENTAGE OF ACTUAL USERS
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**All Mobile DevicesSmart Phone OnlyApple iPad Plus*Small Tablet Plus*E-Reader Plus*Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication92%94%92%96%88%88%
Entertainment86%76%97%91%86%94%
Social Media and Networks73%65%80%83%81%80%
Web other than for News73%72%88%78%74%75%
Keeping up with the News67%61%84%74%79%71%
Leisure Reading54%33%80%91%98%60%
Financial Activities54%48%72%57%62%60%
Creating, Managing Content48%40%53%48%52%56%
Work Related38%28%63%48%52%43%
Education30%18%38%52%36%36%
E-Commerce26%20%38%30%31%33%
Other Activities9%8%13%13%10%8%
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Average hours of usage by all actual users ages 18-34: The following table summarizes the average number of hours of usage per week for all mobile device owners ages 18-34 who said they actually used their devices to engage in the following activities. The number of hours can be slightly skewed by heavy users in some categories, especially those in which the percentage of actual users was relatively low.

ALL ACTUAL USERS AGES 18-34AVERAGE HOURS PER WEEK OVERALL
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**All Mobile DevicesSmart Phone OnlyApple iPad Plus*Small Tablet Plus*E-Reader Plus*Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication13.314.316.314.712.415.0
Entertainment12.711.915.411.912.416.3
Education8.42.911.14.412.212.8
Social Media and Networks8.18.710.55.16.56.6
Work Related7.34.910.410.29.310.1
Web other than for News6.24.98.67.84.99.2
Leisure Reading6.16.77.24.75.25.5
Keeping up with the News5.04.27.38.26.37.1
Creating, Managing Content4.22.63.93.77.15.1
Other Activities4.13.54.55.06.54.7
Financial Activities2.83.42.52.41.92.8
E-Commerce2.32.12.34.34.12.5
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Average hours of usage by all owners (users and non-users): The following table summarizes the average number of hours of usage per week for all mobile device owners ages 18-34. The average hours in this table include actual users as well as those who did not engage in these activities.

ALL USERS AGES 18-34AVERAGE HOURS PER WEEK OVERALL
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**All Mobile DevicesSmart Phone OnlyApple iPad Plus*Small Tablet Plus*E-Reader Plus*Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication12.213.415.014.010.713.2
Entertainment10.89.114.910.910.415.3
Social Media and Networks5.95.78.44.25.25.3
Web other than for News4.53.57.66.13.56.9
Keeping up with the News3.42.56.26.04.85.1
Leisure Reading3.32.25.84.35.03.3
Work Related2.81.46.54.94.84.3
Education2.50.54.22.34.34.6
Creating, Managing Content2.01.12.11.83.62.9
Financial Activities1.51.71.81.41.11.7
E-Commerce0.60.40.91.31.20.8
Other Activities0.30.30.60.70.60.3
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Usage by respondents ages 35-54: Owners in this age group overall were most likely to use their mobile media devices for interpersonal communication, accessing the Web for information other than new provided by news organizations and entertainment.

The following table summarizes the percentage of all mobile device owners ages 35-54 who said they actually used their devices to engage in the following activities during the seven days prior to taking the survey. The order of ranking is based on the percentages in the all mobile devices column.

MOBILE DEVICE OWNERS AGES 35-54PERCENTAGE OF ACTUAL USERS
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**All Mobile DevicesSmart Phone OnlyApple iPad Plus*Small Tablet Plus*E-Reader Plus*Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication89%98%95%74%88%88%
Web other than for News69%73%78%55%56%71%
Entertainment67%54%78%74%59%80%
Keeping up with the News62%54%88%52%65%69%
Social Media and Networks56%50%64%55%53%68%
Leisure Reading54%23%68%77%91%62%
Financial Activities52%43%61%48%59%65%
Work Related46%39%64%39%53%52%
E-Commerce45%27%60%52%56%57%
Creating, Managing Content38%36%46%36%38%49%
Education21%11%35%32%29%32%
Other Activities10%13%10%7%3%11%
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Average hours of usage by all actual users ages 35-54: The following table summarizes the average number of hours of usage per week for all mobile device owners ages 35-54 who said they actually used their devices to engage in the following activities. The number of hours can be slightly skewed by heavy users in some categories, especially those in which the percentage of actual users was relatively low.

ACTUAL USERS AGES 35-54AVERAGE HOURS PER WEEK OVERALL
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**All Mobile DevicesSmart Phone OnlyApple iPad Plus*Small Tablet Plus*E-Reader Plus*Other Mobile Plus*
Entertainment9.66.08.812.06.412.6
Interpersonal Communication8.57.39.311.39.412.0
Work Related7.34.69.28.18.911.1
Leisure Reading5.92.86.09.06.46.3
Keeping up with the News5.64.06.311.16.97.2
Education5.32.14.96.02.77.2
Web other than for News4.23.74.62.32.25.1
Social Media and Networks3.82.35.14.52.94.6
Other Activities3.73.84.65.52.02.6
Creating, Managing Content3.52.05.07.14.14.7
Financial Activities1.62.72.41.41.21.8
E-Commerce2.32.31.51.81.21.9
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Average hours of usage by all owners (users and non-users): The following table summarizes the average number of hours of usage per week for all mobile device owners ages 34-54. The average hours in this table include actual users as well as those who did not engage in these activities.

ALL USERS AGES 35-54AVERAGE HOURS PER WEEK OVERALL
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**All Mobile DevicesSmart Phone OnlyApple iPad Plus*Small Tablet Plus*E-Reader Plus*Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication7.37.28.57.98.010.0
Entertainment6.23.26.68.43.79.5
Keeping up with the News3.42.25.35.44.34.7
Work Related3.21.85.62.94.65.5
Leisure Reading3.10.73.96.55.73.7
Web other than for News2.82.73.41.21.23.4
Social Media and Networks2.11.13.12.31.52.9
Creating, Managing Content1.30.72.22.41.52.2
Education1.10.21.61.80.82.2
Financial Activities1.11.11.40.60.71.1
E-Commerce0.70.60.90.90.61.0
Other Activities0.40.50.40.30.10.3
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Usage by respondents 55 or older: Owners in this age group overall were most likely to use their mobile media devices for interpersonal communication, accessing the Web for information other than news provided by news organizations and leisure reading, which included e-books and electronic editions of magazines. Keeping up with news provided by news organizations ranked fifth or sixth as a percentage of actual users except for the iPad owners who ranked it fourth.

The following table summarizes the percentage of mobile device owners 55 or older who said they actually used their devices to engage in the following activities during the seven days prior to taking the survey. The order of ranking is based on the percentages in the all mobile devices column.

MOBILE DEVICE OWNERS AGES 55 OR OLDERPERCENTAGE OF ACTUAL USERS
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**All Mobile DevicesSmart Phone OnlyApple iPad Plus*Small Tablet Plus*E-Reader Plus*Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication84%95%92%67%72%91%
Web other than for News66%67%72%56%59%83%
Entertainment60%36%83%72%72%66%
Leisure Reading60%21%75%89%100%60%
Keeping up with the News58%50%78%39%49%71%
Social Media and Networks42%26%50%50%44%69%
E-Commerce37%19%50%50%44%54%
Financial Activites36%21%56%39%28%54%
Creating, Managing Content35%24%42%44%31%57%
Work Related34%29%50%39%23%43%
Education14%5%17%17%15%26%
Other Activities10%12%3%0%3%20%
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Average hours of usage by all actual users ages 55 or older: The following table summarizes the average number of hours of usage per week for all mobile device owners ages 55 or older who said they actually used their devices to engage in the following activities. The number of hours can be slightly skewed by heavy users in some categories, especially those in which the percentage of actual users was relatively low.

The relatively high number of hours of usage per week among actual users of small tablets can be attributed to the low number of actual users (18) in this age group. The number of hours of usage is more realistic in the next table for all users ages 55 and older. Actual users for all mobile devices in this age group totaled 145.

ACTUAL USERS 55 OR OLDERAVERAGE HOURS PER WEEK OVERALL
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**All Mobile DevicesSmart Phone OnlyApple iPad Plus*Small Tablet Plus*E-Reader Plus*Other Mobile Plus*
Work Related10.57.510.717.717.715.6
Interpersonal Communication7.89.76.413.25.67.5
Entertainment6.83.68.112.76.77.4
Leisure Reading6.31.55.810.38.75.6
Other Activities4.91.24.00.03.07.4
Keeping up with the News4.03.93.76.94.35.0
Education3.94.06.05.03.22.9
Web other than for News3.62.93.34.14.74.1
Social Media and Networks2.81.42.54.01.83.8
Creating, Managing Content2.41.71.82.12.22.7
Financial Activities2.21.33.11.74.02.9
E-Commerce2.61.31.82.31.82.2
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Average hours of usage by all owners (users and non-users): The following table summarizes the average number of hours of usage per week for all mobile device owners ages 55 or older. The average hours in this table include actual users as well as those who did not engage in these activities.

ALL USERS 55 OR OLDERAVERAGE HOURS PER WEEK OVERALL
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**All Mobile DevicesSmart Phone OnlyApple iPad Plus*Small Tablet Plus*E-Reader Plus*Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication6.39.05.78.83.86.5
Entertainment3.91.36.69.24.64.6
Leisure Reading3.60.34.29.28.33.2
Work Related3.42.15.26.93.96.3
Keeping up with the News2.31.92.82.72.03.4
Web other than for News2.31.92.32.32.63.2
Social Media and Networks1.20.41.22.00.72.5
Creating, Managing Content0.80.40.70.90.71.5
Financial Actvities0.80.31.70.71.11.5
E-Commerce0.60.20.91.20.81.1
Education0.50.21.00.80.50.7
Other Activities0.50.10.10.00.11.4
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Survey Terminology Used for Each Category of Activities

In the past 7 days, approximately how many hours in total did you devote to the following activities with all of the mobile media devices you used:

Interpersonal Communication: Interpersonal communications such as voice, email, texting, tweeting

Entertainment: Entertainment such as playing games, watching movies or videos, listening to music

Leisure Reading: Leisure reading such as books, magazines, journals

Work Related: Work related activities other than interpersonal communications

Keeping up with the News: Keeping up with local, national or international news mostly provided by news organizations using Web browsers, smartphone or tablet apps, twitter, RSS feeds

Web other than for News: Accessing the Web for information other than news provided by news organizations

Social Media and Networks: Participating in social media and networks

Creating, Managing Content: Creating, editing or managing non-work or education related content such as documents, photos, videos, music

Financial Activities: Financial activities, such as banking, paying bills, checking market activity, managing investments

E-Commerce: Electronic commerce, such as shopping, ordering, making reservations

Education: Education related activities, for example, reading textbooks and course materials, managing courses, taking tests, creating reports

Other Activities: Any other activities you devoted time to with the mobile media devices in the past 7 days that I have not mentioned

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