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Media Melting Pot: Diverse Consumers Are Driving Usage On Handheld Platforms

3 minute read | February 2019

With newer generations coming into the consumer fold, the U.S.’ mosaic of buyers grows more diverse. As such, measuring these audiences has become increasingly pertinent—not only because of the value of representation, but because these audiences are helping to shape the future of how we consume and communicate. Women and multicultural consumers have become a driving force in tech and media, particularly when it comes to handheld devices. Mobile devices’ avenues for content and their wide availability are giving power to these diverse groups.

According to Nielsen’s Media Pulse—a series of thought leadership briefs that summarize pressing issues and trends in media—women drive content consumption on smartphones and tablets. The convenience of a mobile device gives them time to consume media on their own time and choose their own content. And given their penchant for mobile usage, they also tend to place more importance on the features and performance of their handheld devices than men.

Adult women (ages 18-plus) spend more time using these handheld platforms for app/web usage than their male counterparts. Furthermore, when it comes to all users, women spend 6% more time using apps and the web on tablets.

When looking at specific behaviors on mobile devices, adult women are more likely to utilize mobile devices for social networking than users overall. On tablets, the difference in behaviors becomes more prominent: Adult women spend 16% more time with video-focused apps/websites and 17% more time with streaming audio on tablets than all tablet users. In contrast, adult men spend far less time using tablets than the same overall base.

While diversity in the form of female consumers plays an influential role in mobile device usage, multicultural consumers play a prominent role as well. Their part in the adoption and usage of tech is growing, as younger generations are becoming less homogenous than their parents and grandparents.

In fact, Black, Hispanic and Asian American adults each spend more time per day using apps/the web on their smartphones than the general U.S. population. African Americans in particular are heavier users of smartphones and spend nearly half an hour more per day using them than the total U.S. (and more than any other group).

The three measured groups (Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans) and their app/web tablet behaviors are comparable to overall tablet usage, with all three clocking in over half an hour of usage per day. Well known for their early adoption of newer tech, Asian Americans represent a growing consumer bloc with their own unique audience behaviors. While African American users lead the pack in smartphone usage, Asian Americans are quite fond of the tablet. They spend at least 45 minutes per day using a tablet, outpacing all other groups as well as the total U.S.

Younger generations and their increasingly diverse profiles will command more spending power as they mature. That means understanding their unique preferences and habits, especially for mobile devices, is paramount to connecting with these audiences.

Click here for additional information about our new Media Pulse series.

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