Blog

November 15, 2011

The Rise of Digital Omnivores

By: Mark Donovan

In case you missed it, we recently released a study showing the first holistic analysis of cross-platform digital media consumption in the U.S., entitled Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing U.S. Digital Media Consumption Habits. The study brings together insights from across the comScore mobile suite of products and provides a first look at survey-based behavioral data on tablet use.

In the report, we explore the increasingly fragmented digital media landscape shaped by the widespread adoption of smartphones and entry of tablets and other web-enabled connected devices. As people become increasingly connected through the use of these devices, we are witnessing the transformation of consumers into digital omnivores able to engage seamlessly with a steady stream of digital content across different platforms. Below we will share with you a few key highlights of the broader trends we’re seeing, and tomorrow I’ll be conducting a webinar that will dive deeper into this topic. Below we will share with you a few key highlights of the broader trends we’re seeing, which I also presented at a recent comScore webinar on the topic. You can find the Digital Omnivores webinar presentation here.

Digital Omnivores Are a Global Phenomenon
An analysis of ten selected global markets in August 2011 showed a notable percentage of Internet traffic (measured as browser-based page views) coming from non-computer devices. Singapore led among those markets with more than 7 percent of all Internet traffic in the country coming from smartphones, tablets and other connected devices.

While mobile phones continue to be the main driver of non-computer traffic around the world, it is interesting to see tablets contributing a sizeable amount of traffic for a few mature technological markets. In Canada, tablets drove nearly 40 percent of all non-computer traffic.

Tablets on the Rise, Fueled by iPads
Although tablets have yet to be widely adopted, they already contribute nearly 2 percent of all U.S. Web browsing traffic, driven almost exclusively by the iPad, which currently accounts for more than 97 percent of all tablet traffic. More notably, iPads have also begun to account for a higher share of Internet traffic than iPhones (46.8 percent vs. 42.6 percent of all iOS device traffic), despite accounting for only half of the number of iPhones in use.

iOS Accounts for Largest Share of Connected Devices in Use and Non-Computer Traffic
The iPad significantly contributes to giving iOS the largest share of non-computer devices in use. The pie chart on the left illustrates each platform’s share of devices in use and shows iOS accounting for the highest share at 43.1 percent. The chart to the right shows the share of non-computer digital traffic driven by various platforms and reveals an even stronger position for iOS as it drove nearly 59 percent of non-computer traffic in August 2011 – again, buoyed by the iPad. While the iPad has thus far not seen a substantial competitor in the marketplace, this week’s launch of the Kindle Fire is likely to rapidly change that picture.

 
Digital Media Consumption Occurs on Different Platforms Throughout the Day
The use of connected devices does not happen in isolation and shifts throughout the day for consumers, as seen in the depiction below showing relative consumption of news category content by hour of the day for mobile devices, tablets, and computers. On a weekday, mobile phones are used to consume news steadily throughout the day, while the use of computers for news consumption is heaviest during work hours while tapering off significantly at night. Interestingly, tablet usage peaks in the later evening hours as people are unwinding for the day. The variance in these daily patterns shows that consumers may favor some platforms over others at various points in the day, even as they use multiple platforms to consume different kinds of content throughout.

Implications for Advertisers and Publishers
These are only a few of the insights contained in our Digital Omnivores report, which you can download here. Advertisers and publishers are often left to wonder what digital media fragmentation means for them. While a multi-platform environment may seem chaotic, complex and difficult to navigate, it is actually presenting opportunities never before thought possible. Each platform represents a unique canvas for media engagement, which provides new opportunities for creativity in advertising. Brands that carry their message effectively across these media touchpoints are best positioned to create long term loyalty and high engagement with their audiences. The digital omnivore is now among us, and learning how to satisfy this complex media appetite is our challenge.

For more information on the webinar we recently presented, please visit Digital Omnivores: Key Insights into Today’s Connected Consumer.

Tags: Mobile, Multi-Platform, Smartphone, Tablets