Not Focused on Mobile Video? You Should Be! More than 50% of U.S. Mobile Subscribers Have Smartphones

Not Focused on Mobile Video? You Should Be! More than 50% of U.S. Mobile Subscribers Have Smartphones

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Nielsen just put out the March 2012 numbers of smartphone penetration in the US and for the first time, it’s topped 50%. That means an estimated 150 million. If you’re not putting your video in formats that they can consume yet, get on it!

I’m sure many of you are, and are targeting the iPhone and its iOS operating system. However, it is continuing to fall behind to another mobile OS, you know the one I’m talking about, Google Android, which now holds 48.5% of the market. So that’s roughly 75 million users.

Smartphone Operating System Share

Smartphone OSShare of Smartphone Owners
Android OS48.5%
RIM Blackberry11.6%
Windows Mobile4.1%
Windows Phone1.7%
Read as: During Q1 2012, 48 percent  of smartphone owners had a device that runs on the Android OSSource: Nielsen, Mobile Insights, Q1 2012

Sure, iOS is still going strong with 32% and there are something like 20-30 million iPads out there now including 15 million according to Apple’s sales numbers last year. But simply targeting the iOS crowd could be missing out on a massive section of others.

With new Android tablets boasting things like 2GB of RAM and quad-core Tegra 3 chips, they could certainly begin to expand their market share as well.

But this is all about the smartphone, so let’s leave tablets out of it for now.

Even if you’re more rigorously targeting specific demographics, you should still be making sure your video is available on all platforms. Look at the recent Nielsen numbers on smartphones by ethnicitiy for example.

Here are some other interesting facts in demographic breakdown for smartphone owners.

  • 50.9 percent of female mobile subscribers carried smartphones in March 2012, compared to 50.1 percent for men.
  • Looking at multiple smartphones are particularly popular among those ages 25 to 34: More than two out of three in this age group have a smartphone.
  • Asian Americans lead smartphone adoption with 67.3 percent using a smartphone as their primary mobile handset.
  • Almost three in five Hispanic mobile subscribers use smartphones, and a majority of African-Americans own smartphones

Video marketers and advertisers, as well as video content publishers and creators need to seriously think about the mobile phone as a platform on its own and many of you do, but for those who aren’t yet, what are you waiting for?

Now if we could just get some updated research on things like how, how long and where those smartphone users are consuming video, we could better target them, not only with content that fits their attention span but also with ads and marketing content that suits their tastes and viewing locations. I mean, who needs an ad for a North Face parka in Hawaii or for suntan lotion in Milwaukee. Well, alright, we do get sun in Milwaukee, maybe 30 days per year…


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