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Connect and Chill: An Intimate Peek at Mobile Connected Device Owners

3 minute read | June 2016

Men and women are getting cozy with their connected lives. The relationship between a consumer and a mobile device is often an intimate one, with a lot of the characteristics of a long-term relationship. The mobile device is there for us when we need it, and it provides an endless array of options for companionship. These days, being a connected consumer isn’t a trend, it’s a way of life.

Nielsen’s first-quarter 2016 Connected Device Report identifies the most critical insights pertaining to advertisers, marketers, mobile carriers and device manufacturers. What are users consuming across devices? And are companies hitting the mark when it comes to their advertising effectiveness?

According to the report, gender distribution among connected device users (including tablets, smartphones and streaming capable devices) is split nearly evenly between males and females. This isn’t surprising, as Nielsen Mobile Insights data shows that mobile connected devices are used by more than 90% of households and smartphone ownership continues to grow. Today, over 86% of wireless subscribers use a smartphone and 93% have a smartphone or tablet. So even though usage is consistent among men and women, the way consumers use these devices can differ greatly by age and even ethnicity.

The ubiquity and convenience of mobile connected devices has provided unprecedented convenience and efficiency when it comes to accessing information and viewing content. The Connected Devices Report also shows where mobile connected devices are being used, throughout a user’s everyday life. Ninety-eight percent of smartphone owners use their device at home, followed by usage at work (84%), and 80% use their smartphones while in the car.

This is all great news for companies investing in mobile advertising, as these devices are getting major face time. But do users recall all these ads? The report notes that only 35% of all smartphone users recall seeing any advertisements, while 26% claim to remember ads seen on their smartphones every time they use them.

Recall is just part of the equation in determining a successful ad, and the user’s reaction closes the deal. Sixty-five percent of users find ads to be intrusive and annoying, while 22% are neutral on the subject. Five percent of tablet users find the ads more interesting than other types of ads, compared to just 3% of mobile consumers. The win for advertisers? Fifteen percent say that if there was an offer attached to the ad, they’d be much more likely to take action.

This all goes to show, if you’re looking to get in bed with your mobile connected device consumers, you can’t play the same game as everyone else in town.

For additional information about the the Connected Device Report, click here.


The insights from Nielsen’s Mobile Connected Device Report were gathered from general population sample 13+ years and with 8,210 respondents who own a tablet, smartphone or streaming-capable device. All numbers reflect self-reported data. The Connected Device Report was conducted online in English.

Nielsen Mobile Insights is a monthly survey of 30,000+ U.S. consumers aged 13+ years. Data is collected primarily online, and a supplemental Spanish language phone survey is also conducted among Hispanic adult respondents in the top 25 Hispanic markets to reach Spanish dominant individuals. Results are weighted to be representative of the U.S. national population.

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