Analyzing Mobile Content Consumption in the United States

usa mapOutbrain gathers a massive amount of data each day as people from around the world click on the content recommendation links served through the company’s tools on a wide variety of websites.

In an effort to learn more about mobile content consumption in the United States, Outbrain analyzed data collected between January and April 2013 related to consumption (impression volume) by platform, device, and by state. The findings are quite interesting and could help Authoritative Content publishers develop the right content strategy in the future.

First, Outbrain’s data showed that the vast majority of content consumed by the U.S. audience is consumed on desktop computers. The breakdown in the data was as follows:

  1. Desktop computer = 82%
  2. Mobile devices (i.e., smartphones) = 10%
  3. Tablets = 8%

Taking a look at devices, Outbrain learned that most mobile content consumed in the United States is consumed on iPhone and Android devices. Specifically, Outbrain reports the following breakdown of U.S. mobile content consumption:

  1. iPhone = 55%
  2. Android = 43%
  3. Windows Phone = 1%
  4. Blackberry = .5%

Looking at mobile content consumption by state, Outbrain found that, “states on the heavier end of the spectrum have more than double the proportion of content consumed on mobile than the lighter end.”

Outbrain analysts found that two of the key reasons for this state-by-state discrepancy are commute times and the number of businesses in each state. The data showed that in states where people have longer commutes, mobile content consumption was significantly higher. The same was true in states with a larger number of businesses.

Of course, commute times and number of businesses are just two factors that appear to increase mobile content consumption. Another reason could be related to differences in wireless connectivity. Certainly states with large rural areas are likely to have lower mobile content consumption rates than states with widespread wireless accessibility.

It’s also important to point out that this is not a scientific study. It’s a study of clicks on related content links served by Outbrain on its publisher partner sites. It could certainly be argued that the results are skewed. However, the results are telling regardless of their scientific accuracy. Mobile content consumption is growing, but it’s clearly happening much more quickly in some parts of the country than others. Furthermore, it’s clearly a two-platform race at this point with Apple iOS and Android as the key players and Android chipping away at Apple’s market share every day.

One thing is certain, it’s still very early in the world of mobile content and things will keep changing!

You can follow the link at the beginning of this article to read all of the details about the study on the Outbrain website.

Image: Ben VanderVeen

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