Mobile now accounts for nearly 70% of digital media time [comScore]

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Time spent with digital media continues to grow — but that growth is all mobile. Last week, comScore released its “2017 US Cross-Platform Future in Focus” report, which tracks consumer usage patterns across digital media channels and platforms.

The measurement firm found that mobile “now accounts for 69 percent of digital media time spent.” By comparison, the desktop has fallen to less than one-third of total digital media time. Mobile apps are 60 percent of the total, with smartphone apps specifically commanding 51 percent of all digital media time.

Remarkably, seven out of 10 minutes spent with YouTube video are now on mobile devices.

Here’s another sobering statistic for those that have yet to go all in on mobile: for the top 1,000 online properties, mobile visitors are roughly 2x desktop audiences in the aggregate. In addition, there are growing audiences that rely exclusively on mobile for internet access. The largest single group in that category is women 18–24.

Google, Facebook and Yahoo remain the top US internet companies, each with more than 200 million monthly uniques (the only such properties at that level). This is why, despite everything, Yahoo remains a valuable acquisition for Verizon.

Facebook and Google dominate mobile app usage, with the two companies capturing the top eight slots and half of the top 20. Google-owned Waze is the leader among a group of fast-growing apps that also includes Uber, Lyft, Tinder and Venmo.

Social media and entertainment are the top digital media categories in terms of overall time spent. Social media captures 20 percent of all digital media time. And 79 percent of social media usage is on mobile devices, with 60 percent of that on smartphone apps.

Facebook remains the dominant social site/app, with the greatest reach by far, but Snapchat is number two in terms of engagement and growth across audience segments.

As has been repeatedly pointed out in the past by Mary Meeker and others, ad spending on mobile lags consumer time spent. According to comScore, in the retail category, 80 percent of ad dollars are spent on the PC, though only 33 percent of consumer shopping time is spent there.

In addition, comScore says that mobile advertising is more effective than desktop advertising — up and down the funnel. This is particularly true as consumers get closer to making purchase decisions. According to the report:

Mobile ads caused point lifts up to 3x greater than ads on desktop across four key brand metrics and performed especially strong in middle and bottom-funnel metrics, such as favorability, intent to buy and likelihood to recommend. Less ad clutter and proximity to point of purchase may be driving better effectiveness for mobile ads.

The full report, which contains a great deal more data, can be downloaded here (registration required).

About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.


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