Video Calling, Shopping and Video Streaming See Highest Smartphone Usage Growth Among Millennials

Shifts in usage behavior across all smartphone users nearly triple the amount of video data consumed monthly per user in Q2 2016 vs. the year prior, according to NPD Connected Intelligence

Port Washington, NY, October 4, 2016 – Whether at home or on-the-go, Millennials are leveraging their smartphones increasingly across a number of activities. From Q2 2015 to Q2 2016, the number of Millennials reportedly using their smartphones for video calling has increased 14 points (to 56 percent), for shopping has increased 10 points (to 59 percent), and for video streaming has increased 9 points (to 40 percent), according to The NPD Group Connected Intelligence Application & Convergence Report.

The report analyzes consumer use of smartphones, connected TVs and tablets; examining which content resonates on each device. For Millennials (aged 18 to 34) ownership and usage of computers is declining, as smartphones are leveraged increasingly for Facebook, posting pictures and/or videos, shopping, video calling, reading, streaming video and viewing files from their computer. As Millennials continue to increasingly use their smartphones, especially for activities involving video (video calling, posting and streaming), there is a need for and a migration to larger data plans. 

“Year-over-year we are seeing smartphone usage steadily increase among Millennials, especially as it relates to video features, which are often data-heavy actions,” said John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence. “As next-gen smartphones come to market, video sharing, streaming and calling will continue to grow, and this has spurred new offers from mobile carriers in an effort to grow their consumer base.” 

Video Streaming Drives Data Consumption Among All Smartphone Users 

In addition to the increasing data needs of Millennials leveraging smartphones for video calling, posting and streaming, cellular data video consumption is being driven by demand from all smartphone users. According to NPD’s Connected Intelligence Data Consumption Report cellular data video consumption increased 130 percent over the past year (Q2 2015 to Q2 2016). With mobile video consumption on Wi-Fi networks included, the growth rate increases to 192 percent and totals nearly 15GB of data per smartphone user per month, up from 5GB the year prior. While data consumption is already growing, the introduction of zero-rated data plans from mobile carriers will accelerate this trend, as users will be able to stream video content without using their data allowance.

“Mobile carriers are leveraging these plans to appeal to consumers who are often concerned about data overages and to stand out from the competition,” said Brad Akyuz, director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence. “As mobile carriers continue to promote new offerings that encourage video streaming and with over two-thirds of consumers opting for phones that are ideal for video, with screens 4.7-inch or greater, we expect to see data usage continue to grow.” 

The results of the NPD Group Connected Intelligence Application & Convergence Report are based on consumer panel research that reached 5,110 U.S. consumers, aged 18+ from diverse regions and demographical backgrounds. They reported their usage of desktops/laptops, connected TVs, tablets and smartphones. This survey was fielded from April 26 through May 11, 2016. Trend is compared to the Q2 2015 survey which fielded during a similar period last year. 

The Data Consumption report is based on information collected through the NPD Connected Intelligence SmartMeter. More than 1,500 consumers with Android and iOS smartphone devices opt-in to the SmartMeter panel and are continuously tracked through an app on their devices. 

About Connected Intelligence 
Connected Intelligence provides competitive intelligence and insight on the rapidly evolving consumer’s connected environment. The service focuses on the three core components of the connected market: the device, the broadband access that provides the connectivity and the content that drives consumer behavior. These three pillars of the connected ecosystem are analyzed through a comprehensive review of what is available, adopted, and consumed by the customer, as well as reviewing how the market will evolve over time and what the various vendors can do to best position themselves in this evolving market. For more information: 

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