Mobile phones ‘have become our lovers’

2011-09-21 08:32

Los Angeles – People are having an increasingly intimate relationship with their smartphones, according to a new study by Ipsos/OTX on mobile consumers presented at TheWrap’s media leadership conference, TheGrill.

If computers are our sages and televisions are our jesters, Ipsos OTX President Bruce Friend said iPhones and Androids are our lovers.

“It’s almost always turned on. It never leaves you. You have an intimate relationship with it,” Friend said.

The intensity of the attraction has helped smartphones reach a critical mass. Currently, 47% of 4 000 people surveyed by the research marketing firm have a smartphone.

By the end of next year, that number should rise to 70%.

That’s critical for entertainment companies, because users are increasingly using their phones to play video games and watch shows.

Indeed, smartphone users spend 30% more on media and entertainment content than their peers. 87% of smartphone users spend 13 minutes a day connecting to social networking sites, 55% use their mobile devices to spend 2 minutes a day reading about entertainment and news, and 71% spend 12 minutes a day playing games.

Pity poor pornography. 3% of users spend only about a minute a day accessing adult entertainment.

It’s also a crucial platform for drumming up viewership and interest in movies and television.
88% of those surveyed said they would switch channels to watch a programme if they got a recommendation from a friend. 82% said they would look up more information about the programme.

But smartphones’ dominance may be waning.

Though tablets currently only have roughly 20% to 25% penetration, Friend expects that number to quickly increase.

“The tablet is rapidly becoming a companion or even a competitor to the smartphone,” Friend said.

“Tablets reduce smartphone as entertainment devices. The tablet will take the place of that,’’ he added.

Tablets, Friend said, are quickly replacing the laptop as the mobile device users favour to take with them, to access email on the run, and to stream content on the go.

Whether on the iPhone or iPad, the importance of apps cannot be overstated for content makers. For instance, 80% of users are accessing Facebook via its app versus 72% through its website and Youtube fans access 44% via the app versus 22% through the website.

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