Mobile phones will beat TV for Americans’ time this year


Research firm eMarketer has predicted a tipping point for Americans’ entertainment habits this year. “For the first time ever, US consumers will spend more time using their mobile devices than watching TV, with smartphone use dominating that time spent,” claimed the company, in its latest data-release.

“The average US adult will spend 3 hours, 43 minutes (referenced as 3:43) on mobile devices in 2019, just above the 3:35 spent on TV. Of time spent on mobile, US consumers will spend 2:55 on smartphones, a 9-minute increase from last year. In 2018, mobile time spent was 3:35, with TV time spent at 3:44.”

eMarketer says this isn’t a surprise, given trends over the last few years, but its principle analyst Yoram Wurmser makes it clear how big a shift it’s been. “As recently as 2014, the average US adult watched nearly 2 hours more TV than they spent on their phones…” And here’s an interesting stat: “Within apps, people spent the most time listening to digital audio, followed by social network activity.” Music-streaming has played a big role here, although podcast apps are also starting to have an impact.

Stuart Dredge

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