Mobile Devices Are Changing the Game(s)


It’s all happening.

In the past two weeks, you may have felt a seismic shift in the world of media consumption as the mobile takeover is now a reality.

It started last Friday when inMobi (disclaimer: a mobile ad company) released a study, which shows that people are now spending more time during the day watching their mobile devices (144 minutes) than watching their televisions (141 minutes). 

The study finds that U.S. mobile web users consume an average of 9 hours of media daily; 26% of those 9 hours are spent looking at mobile devices.  

The biggest reason for this “tipping point”? Mobile serves as a vehicle for constant engagement - people take their smartphones/tablets everywhere they go and consume media on these devices in every type of setting.  How many people do you know claim they feel ‘naked’ without their phone? 

And just because you are watching TV, doesn’t mean you’re not also watching your phone.  According to the InMobi study, “Even when watching television, almost three-quarters (70%) continue to use their mobile device.  Furthermore, that 70% doesn’t even represent the most popular place for mobile consumption as 77% of users are checking their mobile devices while just lying in bed.

While number of minutes spent on mobile vs. TV may be an important takeaway from this study, one could argue there is another finding here that is a much bigger deal: the impact mobile now has on purchasing decisions.  For example, comfort with mobile advertising is ALREADY greater than TV or online ads as 59% of mobile users say mobile ads impacts what they buy vs. 57% with TV and 34% with online.  

All of this is occurring at an unprecedented rate notes Ann Frisbie from inMobi.

"Think back to the late '90s - it took forever to get the majority of consumers comfortable buying on the Internet.  In six months we saw more than a 40% change."

Yes, let’s talk about buying things with mobile because on Wednesday PayPal announced a landmark deal with Discover Financial Services that will bring PayPal to more than 7 million merchant locations across the U.S.  The NextWeb’s Jamillah Knowles explains why this is one step closer to the concept of a ‘digital wallet.’

“To offer the service merchants will not have to install or upgrade existing hardware or software as PayPal will be tapping into Discover’s existing systems. This will be a huge advantage for PayPal which already dominates online payments as it will surge into real world transactions via an existing network.”

With the Square-Starbucks partnership announced a few weeks, consumers can now purchase their coffee without cash or plastic.  That’s merely child’s play compared to the Discovery-PayPal deal, which may change the landscape of mobile commerce as we know it.  

We learned last week that people now spend more time on mobile than TV and also trust it more as an advertising source.  We learned this week that people will now be able to use mobile at the majority of their favorite brick and mortar stores. 

At the intersection of those two points lies a potential game-changer unlike anything we've seen in the mobile lifespan.

It's all happening.