The shift to mobile is on. According to eMarketer estimates, time spent using mobile devices for activities such as internet and app use, gaming, music and others has more than doubled in the past two years.
This year, the amount of time US consumers spent using mobile devices—excluding talk time—will grow 51.9% to an average 82 minutes per day, up from just 34 minutes in 2010, eMarketer estimates.
Mobile growth comes as time spent online, which includes desktop and laptop computers and other nonmobile connected devices such as internet-connected TVs, will continue rising but at a slowed pace from previous years. This year, eMarketer estimates time spent online will grow just 3.6% to an average 173 minutes per day, compared to 7.7% growth in 2011 to 167 minutes per day.
Since online already accounts for an average of nearly 3 hours of time spent with media each day, double-digit growth rates are unlikely even as consumers continue to do more activities and spend more time with their desktop and laptop computers.
Mobile, by contrast, is growing quickly from a small base—and growth in time spent is also being boosted by fast uptake of smartphones and tablets, which have still penetrated only a minority of all consumers. As more US consumers continue to acquire these devices, and current owners shift more of their digital activities to mobile and portable devices, mobile is grabbing an ever-greater share of time with all media—potentially at the expense of faster online growth.