Report: Mobile app time dominates Australian smartphone usage

Latest IAB and Nielsen report finds smartphones are the most used digital device by Australian consumers

Australian smartphone owners spent almost 35 hours engaging with digital content either via the Web or an installed app during August 2015, a new report has found.

According to the latest IAB Australia and Nielsen Mobile Ratings Report, time spent on smartphone is now higher than any other digital devices, accounting for 43 per cent of total time. Desktop usage by contrast, was 39 per cent, while tablet usage was 18 per cent.

Social networks took up the largest share of time on smartphones (35 per cent of time), followed by entertainment (16 per cent) and gaming (12 per cent) content. Social was also the most commonly accessed content on tablet devices (28 per cent), but gaming was more prevalent than entertainment on tablet devices (23 per cent versus 20 per cent).

Overall, consumers spent close to 33 hours on smartphone apps, and just over four hours on browsers each month. This figure dropped to 3.7m on tablet devices.

Listening to music or music-related content was accessed by 8.2 million Australians on smartphones, making it the second-largest driver of active reach and unique audience within the entertainment category during August.

The report was based on a panel of 2500 Australian mobile users over 18 years of age taken during August and is the second edition of preview data in advance of IAB and Nielsen’s new Digital ratings Monthly report being released in 2016. The report is replacing the pair’s Mobile Ratings Report, and pre-empts plans for a daily Digital Contents Rating digital audience data initiative planned for launch in mid-2016.

Nielsen Media Industry Group head, Monique Perry, said the report provided some clear insights into the behaviours of Australian on their mobiles.

“We are seeing that usage on mobiles is typically characterised by short, frequent sessions,” she said. “The sessions are less than one –third of the length of PC sessions on average, at around nine to 10 minutes per session, but more than three times as frequent.”

The report also looked into the top news and information content on smartphones and found the SMH dominating both smartphone and tablet usage, followed by news.com.au. On smartphones, ABC News came in third, followed by Daily Mail Australia and Yahoo7. In contract, ninemsn was third on tablet devices, followed by Daily Mail Australia and ABC News.

IAB research director, Lisa Walsh, said understanding which devices consumers are using along with the combination of usage across devices was important for marketers looking to design a total consumer experience campaign for their brands.

“This report… is able to quantify the importance of mobile media audiences from a marketing investment perspective,” she said. “We’re already seeing some very compelling data, which the industry can use to better reach their audiences.”

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