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Video is No 1 digital behaviour in US across PC, Tablet and Mobile

Alastair Ray (GlobalWebIndex) - 13 November 2013

Video is No 1 digital behaviour in US across PC, Tablet and Mobile


Fastest growing: aggregators (PC), Edit website (Mobile), watch live TV (Tablet)

US digital behavior bought to life via interactive Infographic
GlobalWebIndex, the world's most detailed, on-going survey of digital behaviors and attitudes, has launched its largest-ever report on the US internet use. For the first time, it provides on-going tracking of the breakdown of specific digital behaviors by state, ethnicity and voting preference.

An interactive Infographic identifies the behaviors that are dominating US Internet users' digital experience, and how those behaviors vary across PC, mobile or tablet.

The report reveals a complex tapestry of active usage with significant variations in behaviors by device and target audience. It shows that consumers are doing more with their PC, mobile and tablets, with all the key behaviors showing continued increases across all devices.

Key findings include:

  • Watching video is No 1 activity on all platforms, with 79% having watched a video clip in the last month on a PC, 72% on a mobile and 64% on a tablet

  • TV and film is increasingly dominating digital behavior and mobile and tablet are now key screens for consumption. Watching sports programming is the No 2 activity on tablet and the No 3 on mobile.

  • The fastest-growing activities by platform are streaming a full-length TV show live on a tablet up 147% in 2013, edited/managed a website on a mobile, which is up 142% in 2013, and using an aggregator, up 97% on a PC over the same period

  • Content uploading has become more common via mobile than via PC with consumers more likely to have uploaded photos via mobile (62% in the last month) than they are via PC (55%)

  • Messenger services dominate social networks on mobile and tablet but social networks lead on PC. Used Instant Messenger scores 54% in the last month on tablet and 66% on mobile but Used Social Networks scores just 32% and 42% respectively.

GlobalWebIndex compiled the report via a four-times a year online research programme covering 32 markets including the US. Respondents are asked about all aspects of their digital behavior and motivations, including what digital media activities they have performed in the last month, from uploading a photo or watching a video clip to reviewing a purchase.

By collecting the data for 37 key activities across PC, mobile and tablet, GlobalWebIndex has been able to identify which activities are most popular and calculate scores both for each device and across all devices.

The company has also bringing these findings to life by creating an interactive infographic that allows users to see how different behaviors vary by geography, demographic and audience for 50 key target groups.

The infographic can be accessed here:

Analysis of these target groups reveals the wide variation in digital behaviors across the US, even where particular activities are growing rapidly.

 When it comes to managing or updating a social network via a PC, Asian Americans are the most prominent with 89% having done this in the last month. Also scoring highly are those living in Utah (71%). The groups least likely to have done this are Silver Surfers – Aged 55+ – where only 33% admitted to having done this in the last month and residents of Delaware where just 47% did so.

 The same huge variations can be seen when it comes to online purchasing via a PC. The top audience was High Income Families – Earning $125K+ with kids in the household – where 76% had done so in the last month. Similarly 76% of those living in Montana had also carried out this activity.

The groups least likely to have purchased a product online via a PC were Hispanic Americans who scored 53% and residents of Alaska, where just 50% had carried out this activity.

GlobalWebIndex has been tracking social media usage since 2009 and now tracks consumer behavior across all devices in 32 countries around the world. Its research is used by agencies, brands and technology leaders to understand changes in the way consumers communicate and receive messages from brands as well as which digital platforms and devices they use.

 It recently increased the size of its US panel to 30,000 consumers a year and is now the largest on-going survey of its kind in the country.

"Our largest study yet in the US reveals the massive variation in digital behaviors and adoption, demonstrating clearly that identity and outlook, above our age, or gender are the key drivers of how we adopt and use the Internet. For advertisers and brands this study conclusively demonstrates the importance of investing in a digital strategy that’s focused on your specific target audience," said Tom Smith, Founder and CEO of GlobalWebIndex.