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OPA Study Defines Today’s Smartphone User

August 20, 2012 | By Research Team—DCN

OPA Study Defines Today’s Smartphone User: Over Two-Thirds of Smartphone Owners Report They Can’t Live Without Their Smartphones; Content Consumption Continues to Dominate

New York, NY – August 20, 2012 − The Online Publishers Association (OPA) has released “A Portrait of Today’s Smartphone User,” providing insight into the developing attitudes and behaviors of today’s smartphone consumer. The study found that over two-thirds of smartphone owners reported that they “cannot live without” their smartphones.

The OPA collaborated with Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. to conduct the study, which found that the population of smartphone users is growing rapidly. An estimated 44% of the U.S. internet population, ages 8-64, owns a smartphone (107 million consumers*), up from 31% in 2011 (73 million consumers*) and expected to reach 57% by Q2 2013 (142 million consumers*). Aside from making phone calls, 93% of smartphone users regularly access content and information above any other activity, followed by accessing the internet (59%) and checking email (58%). The primary types of content smartphone consumers access are weather information (47%), video (31%), local news (29%) and national news (24%).

“Over the past few years, there has been an undeniable shift in the way consumers access content and information as well as stay informed and entertained. Consumers now expect the world at their fingertips anytime, anywhere, and publishers have worked vigorously to optimize their mobile sites and create apps that cater to this demand and behavioral shift,” said Pam Horan, President of the OPA. “Our study revealed that smartphones are providing a great monetization opportunity for publishers. With over half of smartphone users accessing content on a daily basis, this growing smartphone population is showing a willingness to pay for content. Twenty-four percent of users report that they have purchased any type of content for viewing on their smartphones.”

The study also assessed the attitudes of smartphone users towards mobile advertising and revealed that in the six months prior to the survey, 39% of the all smartphone content consumers have been driven to take action after seeing a smartphone ad. Fifteen percent of all smartphone content consumers have clicked through an advertisement, 12% have used a special offer or coupon and 12% have made a purchase either on a PC or at a store. According to the study, purchasers of smartphone content were a much more engaged and active audience: 79% have taken action after seeing an ad, 31% have clicked through an ad, 30% have used a special offer or coupon, 27% have made a purchase on a PC and 24% have made a purchase at a store as a direct result of an ad.

“Smartphone content purchasers are a substantial subset of the general smartphone population that is showing not only receptiveness to ads but also more positive opinions towards ads than smartphone content consumers as a whole. Twenty-nine percent of smartphone content purchasers indicate that smartphone ads are eye-catching, 26% report that ads are relevant and 25% report that ads are unique and interesting, compared to 17%, 15% and 14%, respectively, for all smartphone content consumers,” added Horan.

Other key findings from “A Portrait of Today’s Smartphone User,” include:

  • Large smartphone app market: 96% of smartphone content consumers downloaded apps in the past year averaging 36 apps; 14% of all smartphone apps downloaded by those reporting are paid.
  • Android leads iOS: Android device penetration (46%) continues to lead iOS penetration (35%), with both platforms growing in share compared to last year; Blackberry and all other platform penetration share (16% and 11%, respectively) declined rapidly compared to last year (25% and 14%, respectively, in 2011).
  • Smartphone users pay for content: 24% of smartphone users report that they have purchased content for viewing on their smartphones, with 22% of smartphone content buyers having purchased video, 21% entertainment content, 21% books and 19% weather content.
  • Smartphone is the preferred media device for many: 54% of multiple mobile device owners prefer using their smartphone for at least one of a range of activities over PC/laptops and tablets.
  • Smartphone users watch plenty of video: 68% of smartphone users who watch video on their smartphones regularly watch short-form news and entertainment videos, which includes news, sports, TV show and weather clips; the next largest smartphone video category is user-generated content (e.g. YouTube), with 57% of those who watch videos on smartphones watching those types of videos.
  • Smartphone users are cross-platform consumers: Smartphone users have strong cross-platform tendencies, with 84% identifying themselves as two-screen multitaskers (TV + mobile phone/tablet) and 64% identifying themselves as three-screen multitaskers (TV + PC + mobile phone/tablet).

Frank N. Magid Associates fielded a nationally representative online survey of 2,540 people, ages 8 to 64 years old, between March 19 and March 26, 2012. The study follows the June 2012 release of “A Portrait of Today’s Tablet User – Wave II,” a study sponsored by the Online Publishers Association and conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates that unveiled a range of trends on the attitudes and behaviors of tablet users.

To download a copy of the study’s findings, please click here.

About the OPA

Founded in June 2001, the Online Publishers Association is an industry trade organization whose mission is to advance the interests of high-quality online publishers before the advertising community, the press, the government and the public. Members of OPA represent the standards in Internet publishing with respect to editorial quality and integrity, credibility and accountability. OPA’s membership has an unduplicated audience of 221.2 million unique visitors or 100% reach of the U.S. online population (comScore Media Metrix, January 2012). For more information, visit www.online-publishers.org.

Media Contact:
Emily Peck
kwittken + company
[email protected]

About Frank N Magid Associates, Inc.

Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. is a leading research-based consulting firm that helps its clients become more profitable by solving problems and helping them take advantage of opportunities. For 54 years, we have carefully studied human behavior and how communication affects it, and we use this perspective to help clients develop and market products and services that successfully change or adapt to consumer attitudes and behaviors. Clients include Google, The Walt Disney Company, Verizon Wireless, Electronic Arts, UnitedHealth Group, MetLife, Dr. Pepper/Snapple, and numerous others. For more information, visit www.magid.com.

* Source: Estimated U.S. internet population, ages 8-64, is derived from U.S. Census Bureau and eMarketer data.