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Mobile Growing Faster Than Anyone Thought

Digital consumers are still spending a majority of their time on desktop computers, which is where the most beneficial marketing measurements are still seen. Mobile of course, has proven to be a significant competitor to the experienced desktop platform, but it still does not quite measure up. However, there are signs that point toward the eventual equality between the two, if not the overtaking of desktop by mobile platforms. Today, eMarketer brings some numbers to the table that show in detail the rapid growth of mobile over the years, and if mobile continues to grow as it has it will certainly surpass the success of desktop platforms.

Consumers in the US may spend twice as much time today with desktop media as they do with mobile, but time spent with mobile is growing at 14 times the rate of the desktop, suggesting that the two could achieve parity inside a couple of years if both maintain a consistent trajectory.

The company provides a chart detailing the percentage of change over the years, starting with the year 2009. In 2009, the percentage of change from the previous year in mobile was 46.7%, and in 2010 the percentage was 54.5%. In 2011 the percentage of change hit 58.8% and this year the percentage was at 51.9%. Overall, the rate of growth has increased over the years, though this year it has shown a bit of a drop. However, growth in online desktop marketing has stayed below 8% since 2009 according to the chart, making it easy for mobile equate with desktop.

The change that has occurred over time however was not the only proof of mobile having a growing prominence in marketing and consumer traffic. In the article, eMarketer shows just what portion of total online traffic came from mobile in North America this year. Of course, desktop was on top with a huge 71.5% of total traffic but mobile covered the rest with 28%. This number is significant for mobile, as it is amongst the highest recorded traffic shares for the platform.

eMarketer states:

For key media and commerce drivers such as search, mobile accounts for a growing share of total activity. Some estimates put it at as much as one-third, according to figures cited by a recent Macquarie Investment Bank research note.

Time and time again we are told of the growing success of mobile, but becoming aware of how it is gaining on desktop in terms of traffic and use shows absolute proof of its success thus far. Consumers have adopted smart devices and they are here to stay, so mobile’s growth rate is far from shocking, but knowing exact numbers is always important. However, it is still important to recognize the overwhelming lead that desktop still holds over mobile. The point here is to consider what mobile is soon to become and prepare for it, because when it does come to the point of equality with desktop platforms there will be a lot of tough competition seen.

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Michael Levanduski

Michael Levanduski is the assistant editor of Performance Marketing Insider, and an experienced freelance writer. He writes content for a wide range of sites in virtually every niche, though he specializes in technical writing as well as creating content for the performance and internet marketing industry. Michael was born in Grand Rapids, MI where he still lives with his wife and three children.

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  1. If a desktop computer was the size of a smartphone, I’d use it all the time! I am not surprised that mobile usage is growing faster. With so many new apps that are friendly for business usage, plus anytime access to the internet, mobiles are just an inch away from desktop media.

  2. I believe many consumers spend their time in front of the desktop computer. The answer is quite simple – most of them sit at that time at work using such devices. Nowadays, more and more people (younger and older) decide to choose mobile for her/her convenience. In a couple of years from now, desktop will be a memorable item (just like walkmans and cassette players).

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