A new comScore whitepaper titled “Marketing to the Multi-Platform Majority” reveals that more Americans than ever are using both desktops and smartphones to access the Internet.
The report highlights a milestone that occurred in April: From that point on, more than half of media users used both traditional computers and mobile devices to browse online content. In approximately six months, in other words, the number of people who go online solely from a desktop computer fell by 6 percent.
Desktop still remained the preferred method for company advertising, holding approximately 49 percent of the digital marketing pie. But smartphones are growing, with a 39-percent hold, and tablets are rising quickly — currently at 12 percent of the whole.
As the report makes clear, consumers are on a trajectory toward a multi-screen experience that involves desktop, smartphone and tablet access — not in competition but in combination.
To underscore the trend, comScore lists several companies that have adjusted their strategies to allow for more mult-screen interactions: For example, Facebook’s 2013 News Feed changes took this trend into account. The “New York Times” is working on a new website designed to integrate mobile aspects into its news feed. Pandora receives most of its use through mobile devices and depends heavily on mobile ad revenue. Even Google AdWords has received changes that make it easier to juggle desktop and mobile ad campaigns at the same time.
As people adopt multi-platform habits, they grow accustomed to starting an article or task on a desktop and finishing it on a smartphone, or vice versa. With some activities, particularly in entertainment, mobile devices can be used simultaneously with other screens — for instance, listening to an online radio station on a phone while browsing the Internet, or keeping up with social network discussions while watching a favorite show.
Times are changing for developers, too. Cross-platform development tools have quickly risen in popularity, not only for multi-screen use but also for multi-OS development for iOS, Android and Windows alike. If comScore’s data accurately indicates changing media habits, solutions that make it easy to quickly develop content for all types of devices and operating systems would be welcome.
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