Mobile Drives 75% of Internet Engagement Time

Mobile devices will account for 75 percent of global internet use next year, according to a new Zenith Media forecast. If Zenith’s methodology remains consistent, those figures are a measure of time spent with internet apps and content, not “data transferred.”

That is a key difference in metrics used in the advertising and networks business. For advertisers, minutes of use (engagement) matters. For network facilities operators, volume of bits consumed (traffic) matters.

The mobile proportion of internet use has increased rapidly, from 40 percent of total traffic in 2012 to 68 percent in 2016. Zenith Media expects mobile devices to generate fully 79 percent of total internal traffic by 2018, a perhaps astounding percentage.
Mobile internet already accounts for 85 percent of internet use in Spain, in 2016. In Hong Kong,  mobile represents 79 percent of internet use.

In China, mobile generates 76 percent of internet usage, while in in the United States mobile generates 74 percent of total internet use.

In Italy and India, mobiles are responsible for 73 percent of internet usage.

By 2018, Hong Kong to have the highest mobile internet use, accounting for 89 percent of total internet use.

China’s mobile devices will represent 87 percent of internet use, while in Spain mobiles will produce 86 percent of usage.

In the United States and Italy, mobiles will represent 83 percent of internet usage, with India at 82 percent.
The increase in mobile internet use is being driven by the rapid rise in the penetration of mobile devices. In 2012 just 23 percent of people in 60 studied markets had a smartphone, and four percent had a tablet.

Smartphone penetration has now reached 56 percent, and increase of 2.4 times over four years, and Zenith forecasts growth of smartphone use to 63 percent by 2018.

The highest levels of smartphone penetration are in Western Europe and Asia. Ireland has the highest smartphone penetration this year, at 92 percent, followed by Singapore (91 percent), Spain (88 percent), Norway (86 percent) and South Korea (84 percent).

We forecast Ireland to remain in first place in 2018, with 94 percent penetration, followed by Switzerland and Singapore at 92 percent each, and Norway and Taiwan at 91 percent each.
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