PCs still vital for some content

14 May 2014
THETFORD CENTER, VT: Online content is increasingly being consumed on mobile devices, but that is only true for certain categories as research shows that for some the share of time spent online remains overwhelmingly on PCs.

This was especially true for business-to-business, as Marketing Charts highlighted a comScore/Millennial Media survey showing that 80% of time spent by online US adults on B2B content was via PCs, with smartphones taking 12% and tablets just 8%.

This was, it suggested, simply due to the fact that B2B buyers and decision makers were likely using PCs while at work to access such material.

Overall, however, PCs were being slowly edged out, as across all categories they took a 44% share of online time, the same as smartphones, with tablets taking the remaining 12%.

In addition to B2B, PCs continued to account for more than half the time spent online in eight of the 14 categories considered.

These included automotive (where PCs represented 76% of online time compared to 19% on smartphones and 5% on tablets), travel (PCs 68%, smartphones 21%, tablets 11%), TV (PCs 67%, smartphones 22%, tablets 11%) and business/finance (PCs 62%, smartphones 36%, tablets 2%).

The gap narrowed for food (PCs 58%, smartphones 27%, tablets 15%), sports (PCs 56%, smartphones 38%, tablets 6%) and news (PCs 55%, smartphones 39%, tablets 6%) and was evenly split in health (PCs 50%, smartphones 45%, tablets 5%)

Mobile devices dominated content consumption in the remaining categories, most notably in streaming radio, with 79% of time spent on smartphones, 16% on digital and a mere 5% on PCs.

Smartphones were equally prominent in games (79%) while tablets dropped to 6% and PCs increased to 15%.

Smartphones were also the preferred device for social media and weather content (both 61%), with PCs taking 28% of online time for the former and 31% for the latter.

Marketing Charts also noted that the distribution of time spent across devices differed by age and gender. Women aged 25-49, for example, spent almost two-thirds of their time with retail content via smartphones (47%) and tablets (17%), while men in that age bracket spent a relatively smaller 47% of their retail time accessing via mobile devices.

Data sourced from, Marketing Charts; additional content by Warc staff
Share with a colleague
Your email address
Your colleague’s email address
Comment (max 150 characters)