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U.S. mobile users becoming 'digital omnivores' (survey)

Cross-platform media consumption is reshaping the digital landscape as consumers use more devices to access content.
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Written by Rachel King on

Smartphones and tablets are driving nearly seven percent of all digital traffic in the United States, according to a new survey from comScore.

Two-thirds of that can be attributed to smartphones alone, while tablets are quickly gaining speed as more than 116 million people by the end of August 2011 were using mobile devices to access the web and applications as well as download content.

Within that population, young males are the most frequent users as 54.7 percent of all tablet owners were male, nearly 30 percent were age 25-34, and almost half (45.9 percent) of tablet owners belonged to households earning $100,000 annually and more.

Mark Donovan, comScore's senior vice president of mobile, explained in a statement that the popularity of smartphones and tablets are the primary contributors to an "explosion" in digital media consumption:

As these devices gain adoption, we have also seen the rise of the ‘digital omnivores’ – consumers who access content through several touchpoints during the course of their daily digital lives. In order to meet the needs of these consumers, advertisers and publishers must learn to navigate this new landscape so they develop cross-platform strategies to effectively engage their audiences.

News and social media providers should listen up in particular. Nearly three out of five tablet owners consume news on their tablets and updated their social networking status or commented on friends' status messages during September. Additionally, Pandora accounted for more than half of their total cross-platform audience.

As for the devices themselves, Apple is leading the way as iOS accounts for the largest share of U.S. smartphones and tablets at 43.1 percent of the combined market, along with the largest share of Internet traffic, measured in terms of browser-based page views,. That is largely thanks to the iPad, which has yet to meet its match in the tablet space.

Android, however, won the highest share of the smartphone market for another month running with 43.7 percent in August.

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