Media habits start to mature

8 January 2013

NEW YORK: Media consumption habits across the globe are becoming increasingly consolidated around a "small set of multi-function devices" like HDTVs, smartphones and tablets, new figures suggest.

Accenture, the management consultancy, polled 11,000 adult web users in 11 major markets, a group featuring Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan the UK and US.

Some 94% of the panel owned a PC, up from 90% in 2011. These ratings stood at 58% and 48% in turn for smartphones, alongside reaching 24% and 14% respectively when discussing tablets.

Another 62% of interviewees had a high-definition TV set, seen as the final member of the "big four" devices by Accenture, with penetration having grown by four percentage points year on year.

"Consumers are homing in on a small set of multi-function devices, yet they continue to experiment," the study said. "Underlying this growth is a competitive environment best characterised as an open playing field."

The products in longer term decline included basic phones, down from 84% in 2009 to 64% in 2012, while DVRs recorded a drop from 20% to 13% and digital cameras witnessed a slide from 77% to 68%.

When ranking the devices they owned with regard to most regular usage, fully 91% of adults afforded PCs such a status, with HDTV sets and smartphones on 55%, tablets on 17% and ebook readers on 6%.

These appliances all posted increases on this metric, whereas DVRs logged a contraction of five points, portable gaming devices were down by 3 points and digital video cameras by two points, to 5% apiece.

Digital cameras and DVD players also saw a 15 point drop each to 36% and 15%, while portable music players endured a four point decrease to 33%, showing habits are shifting in various ways.

In an extra indication of this process in action, some 40% of consumers owning tablets and DVRs had reduced their usage of the latter appliance after buying an iPad, Kindle Fire or equivalent offering.

This total hit 34% for DVRs and 32% for TV, while 23% boosted their use of the former channel and 13% did so the latter. Similarly, 25% of the same audience made more use of their smartphone having bought a tablet, and only 24% cut back.

A 44% share of the sample said it was "extremely" or "very" important that all their devices used the same operating system. Exactly 33% said it was "somewhat" important and 23% were unconcerned.

Upon choosing why they might change operating system on a new device, an interest of what else is on the market would motivate 24% of shoppers, ahead of getting a better experience or accessing more innovative services and apps, both on 23%.

Data sourced from Accenture; additional content by Warc staff