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3 things marketers should know about how consumers spend time with devices

US adults will spend more than 7.5 hours on connected devices each day this year, up an hour from 2020, per our forecast.

Here’s what advertisers need to know about time spent with mobile devices and connected TV (CTV), which combined make up more than three-quarters of US digital time spent this year.

1. As time spent on CTV increases, so do the ad opportunities

This year, US consumers will spend an average of 1 hour, 55 minutes (1:55) with CTV per day, increasing to 2:11 by 2025, per our forecast.

Ad-free streaming services have launched ad-supported tiers, taking advantage of increasing time spent with CTV and improving the amount of inventory available to advertisers, our analyst Yoram Wurmser said on a recent “Behind the Numbers: The Daily” podcast.

“Even TikTok is making a push into CTV,” he said. “There are just more opportunities for ads on CTV. I think that’s something all advertisers should concentrate on.”

2. Mobile device use is split among a diverse range of activities

Mobile still represents the majority of US consumers’ time spent on connected devices, per our forecast, though its share is shrinking slightly as CTV and connected cars gain time.

  • Time spent with mobile devices has grown from just over 3 hours a day in 2019 to 3:50 in 2023.
  • By 2025, that number will be just 1 minute shy of 4 hours.

However, unlike CTV or gaming, which have pretty singular uses, “the smartphone is kind of like the Swiss Army knife of connected devices. It does it all,” said Wurmser.

The leading use for mobile is video, which represents 33% of time spent on mobile devices, followed by digital audio (18%), social networks (13%), gaming (11%), and messaging (10%), according to our forecast.

3. Digital audio may be the next big thing

As homes become more connected, consumers may end up spending more time with digital audio via CTV, said Wurmser, opening additional advertising opportunities for brands.

New connected car systems could also boost digital audio usage.

“There’s already a lot of infotainment or entertainment for the passenger side of the car,” said Wurmser. “But as cars become more autonomous, we’re going to see that spread to all seats of the car.”

Listen to the full podcast.

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.