The average American will spend 3 hours and 43 minutes per day using a mobile device according to new eMarketer data. That’s eight minutes more than last year—and audio is playing a big part in the growth. The vast majority of that time is spent using apps. The firm puts the average person’s app time at 2 hours and 57 minutes per day compared to 26 minutes on a mobile browser.
Within the app environment, eMarketer says its data shows people spent the most time listening to digital audio—it even tops time on social networks. “Digital audio apps continue to add minutes because people are streaming more music on their phones, and podcasts have taken off in popularity in the past few years,” analyst Yoram Wurmser said.
The report says smartphones are where the bulk of mobile time is spent. These devices get 2 hours and 55 minutes per day, a 9-minute increase from a year ago. Analysts at eMarketer say smartphones will continue to make up the majority of media consumption, but they predict that use will plateau by 2020, because consumers have become increasingly uneasy about overuse of mobile devices.
At the same time, tablet use among U.S. adults continues to lose ground. It peaked two years when daily usage was logged at 1 hour and 11 minutes. That slipped 3 minutes this year, according to eMarketer which says tablet usage is expected to continue falling off during the next few years.
Yet the report also shows that for the first time ever, U.S. consumers are now spending more time with mobile devices than watching television. The data shows the average adult spent 3 hours and 35 minutes watching TV. That’s eight fewer minutes than they were using a mobile device.
“We’ve expected that mobile would overtake TV for a while, but seeing it happen is still surprising," Wurmser said in the report. "As recently as 2014, the average U.S. adult watched nearly 2 hours more TV than they spent on their phones."