In 2017, 75% of Internet use will be with mobile devices

Internet a decade ago was nowhere near as popular as it is right now with many large companies built around it including the giant that is Google and also Facebook. Much of it has to do with the smartphone revolution brought on by the iPhone, and taken to unimaginable heights by Android. Thanks to the number of ways that an average person can now connect to the internet, one are the days in which a single access point was located in the home and shared between users.

In the near future it is expected that the majority of devices connected to the internet will be small and low-powered IoT items. Although, it does seem to be the case that in terms of accessing the internet, smartphones are and will continue (for now) to be the main product line.

Publicis owned Zenith published today its latest report titled Mobile Advertising Forecasts 2016, which focuses on mobile technology and its impact on media consumption and advertising. This first edition of the Mobile Advertising Forecasts looks at mobile advertising and mobile technology in 60 key countries around the world. It forecasts the rising amount of time consumers devote to mobile internet use, the spread of smartphones and tablets, and the growth of mobile adspend.



Zenith notes that in 2012, mobiles accounted for 40-percent of global internet use and since then, that number had risen to 68-percent by 2016. Zenith now predict that in 2017, the number will increase to 75-percent. Which basically means, that in 2016 “three out of every four minutes of Internet use will be accessed via a mobile device”. Zenith goes further on to note that the number will again rise to about 79-percent by 2018. Which will mean that in the years between 2012 and 2018, the percentage of internet accessed by a mobile device will have effectively, doubled.

The rise of mobile data consumption, including video, is pushing telecommunications companies to marry content and digital distribution. They are betting that they can lure viewers to online video and other content that are relayed over their internet and wireless networks, while also attracting advertisers to grow ad revenue.

While reports such as this are designed to highlight the importance of companies in becoming ‘mobile-first’ companies, these reports are also useful at the general observation level.

For instance, some interesting stats from the report indicate that, the countries with the highest levels of mobile internet consumption are dispersed across Western Europe, Asia and North America. Mobile internet accounts for the highest proportion of total internet use in Spain, where Zenith estimates it will account for 85% of internet use in 2016. Hong Kong comes second, with 79% of internet use being mobile, followed by China (76%) and the United States (74%). Italy and India come joint fifth, at 73% each.

The likes of the US, Italy and India are currently just below what Zenith expects the global average to be in 2017 (75%). Although, over the next couple of years Zenith does expect the pecking order to change somewhat with the likes of Hong Kong taking the top spot by 2018 with 89-percent and closely followed by China (87-percent) and Spain (86-percent). The US is expected to remain in fourth position, although jointly with Italy (on 83-percent), while India will be just behind on 82-percent.

Smartphone penetration increased 2.4 times between 2012 and 2016

It’s also worth noting that out of the top 5 Internet using countries, India is an interesting name since mobile is the primary and in many cases the only Internet device used in the country. The increase in mobile internet use is being driven by the rapid rise in the penetration of mobile devices. In 2012 just 23% of people in the 60 markets covered in the research had a smartphone, and 4% had a tablet. Smartphone penetration has now reached 56%, and increase of 2.4 times over four years, and Zenith forecasts it to rise to 63% by 2018. Tablets are more of a luxury item and have not spread nearly so widely: they are owned by 15% of people in the 60 markets now, and Zenith expects them to reach 17% penetration in 2018.

The highest levels of smartphone penetration are concentrated in Western Europe and Asia. It is estimated that Ireland has the highest smartphone penetration this year, at 92%, followed by Singapore (91%), Spain (88%), Norway (86%) and South Korea (84%). According to the report, Ireland will remain in first place in 2018, with 94% penetration, followed by Switzerland and Singapore at 92% each, and Norway and Taiwan at 91% each.

Tablet penetration varies extremely widely between markets. In 10 of the 60 markets tablets have penetration levels above 50%, and in another 10 they have penetration levels below 10%. Just 3% of people in China have tablets, which drags down the average substantially, since China accounts for 27% of the population in these 60 markets. In India, which accounts for another 26%, 6% of people have tablets. The highest level of tablet penetration is in Singapore (at 75%), and the lowest is in China and Thailand (3%).

An unspoken prediction that can be made from these reports, is that while internet usage accessed by a mobile is expected to increase, consumers should also expect mobile-first content to increase in tandem.

Source : Zenith Media


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