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US Digital Trends fall market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Digital Trends Fall market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Definition

This Report details the conduction of digital activities, including:

  • Use of product/service reviews
  • Streaming video
  • Casual gaming
  • Research for online shopping
  • Downloading apps and games
  • Online dating
  • Online shopping
  • Digital couponing
  • Use of brand properties including YouTube channels, websites, games, and apps
  • Podcasts
  • Streaming content to television sets
  • Tracking fitness activity
  • Blogging

This Report is the first in the Digital Trends series in which a device agnostic approach was used for the survey methodology. The second title in this series to do so will be Digital Consumer (Hardware) – US, September 2018. As a result of this change, the Report does not trend responses with previous titles in this series, with the exception of in how consumers access the internet.

This Report does not focus specifically on the use of social media as Mintel devotes an entire separate Report to the subject, Social Media Trends – US, April 2018.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Billy Hulkower, a leading analyst in the Technology sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

With ever expanding means of accessing the internet, ranging from skills on smart speakers to television apps to podcasts, brands face an increasingly daunting task of determining the best points of contact; adding to the difficulty of this task is the finding that the same demographic groups run above average in the use of most digital media (including young adults age 18-34, the middle-income groups with annual household incomes from $25K-$99.9K, and Hispanics). However, there are points of division in usage that can be seized upon, in particular when it comes to gender, where men tend to over-index on entertainment pursuits, while women show higher levels of usage for sponsored stories, branded apps, and how-to videos. Billy Hulkower
Senior Technology Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Methods of accessing the internet increasingly varied
            • Figure 1: Methods of internet access, June 2016
          • Streaming media not catching on in many regions
            • Figure 2: Frequency of listening to paid streaming music (daily), by region, June 2016
          • Little change in ownership of several staple electronics
            • Figure 3: Smartphone and tablet ownership, April 2015-June 2016
          • The opportunities
            • Leverage multi-channel connectivity
              • Figure 4: Methods of internet access, by household size, June 2016
            • Changes needed in the streaming music segment
              • Figure 5: Frequency of photo/video sharing, by generation, June 2016
            • Portability wins the battle for near-term purchase interest
              • Figure 6: Top five planned technology product purchases in the next year, June 2016
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Hardware and software promotion increasingly united
                • Digital engagement set to expand
                • Market Factors

                  • Hardware markets place more focus on software
                    • Digitally engaged generations to represent larger share of population
                      • Figure 7: Population by generation, 2011-21
                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                    • Pokémon Go leads the mobile charge
                      • Samsung resurges in the smartphone market
                        • Data will come from everywhere
                        • What’s Working?

                          • Nintendo brand extends into mobile gaming with Pokémon Go
                            • Samsung sees renewed success in smartphone market
                              • Figure 8: Samsung Galaxy S7 email ad, March 2016
                              • Figure 9: Samsung Galaxy S6 promotion (direct mail), August 2015
                          • What’s Struggling?

                            • Streaming music is popular, but profit remains elusive
                              • Figure 10: Frequency of online activities (paid streaming music), June 2016
                          • What’s Next?

                            • The convergence of media, hardware, and the data
                              • The power of one: Why Comcast should have marketed to John Oliver
                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                • Smartphone ownership stagnant, but tablets trend upward
                                  • Parents are drawn to wearable electronics
                                    • Ownership of innovative technology exceptionally low
                                    • Personal Technology Products Owned

                                      • Tablets and smartphones
                                        • Smartphone and tablet ownership trends
                                          • Figure 11: Smartphone and tablet ownership, April 2015-June 2016
                                        • Communication features and accessibility important for older consumers
                                          • Figure 12: Smartphone ownership, by age, June 2016
                                        • Rural consumers lag in smartphone ownership
                                          • Figure 13: Smartphone and tablet ownership, by type of living area, June 2016
                                        • Impact of age and income on tablet ownership
                                          • Figure 14: Tablet ownership, by age and household income, June 2016
                                        • Portable media devices
                                          • Portable media device ownership trends
                                              • Figure 15: Portable media devices ownership, April 2015- June 2016
                                            • E-reader ownership dependent on household income
                                              • Figure 16: Portable media player and e-reader ownership, by age and household income, June 2016
                                            • Wearable electronics
                                              • Wearable electronics ownership trends
                                                • Figure 17: Wearable electronics ownership, April 2015- June 2016
                                              • Parents show higher wearables ownership
                                                • Figure 18: Wearable electronics ownership, by parental status and gender, June 2016
                                              • Fitness-tracking device ownership lower among non-Whites
                                                • Figure 19: Wearable electronics ownership, by race and hispanic origin, June 2016
                                            • Household Technology Products Owned

                                              • Televisions
                                                • Trends in household television ownership
                                                  • Figure 20: HD and UHD television ownership (household), April 2015-June 2016
                                                • UHD Television adoption higher in urban areas
                                                  • Figure 21: HD and UHD television ownership (household), by type of living area, June 2016
                                                • Household computers
                                                  • Trends in desktop and laptop ownership
                                                    • Figure 22: Desktop and laptop computer ownership (household), April 2015-June 2016
                                                  • Desktop ownership trends upward with age
                                                    • Figure 23: Desktop computer ownership (household), by age, June 2016
                                                • How Consumers Access the Internet

                                                  • Internet access from many devices
                                                      • Figure 24: Methods of internet access, June 2016
                                                    • Work computer usage high among 25-34s and 35-44s
                                                        • Figure 25: Methods of internet access, by age, June 2016
                                                      • Methods of internet access varied in larger households
                                                          • Figure 26: Methods of internet access, by household size June 2016
                                                        • Smart TVs used for internet browsing and content discovery among Blacks
                                                            • Figure 27: Methods of internet access, by race and hispanic origin, June 2016
                                                        • Consumers’ Online Activities

                                                          • Millennials most active content sharers
                                                              • Figure 28: Frequency of photo/video sharing, by generation, June 2016
                                                            • Regional trends in paid streaming music
                                                                • Figure 29: Frequency of listening to paid streaming music (daily), by region, June 2016
                                                              • The age of VOIP is here for younger consumers
                                                                  • Figure 30: Frequency of using VOIP services (any and daily), by age and income, June 2016
                                                              • Planned Technology Product Purchases

                                                                • Near-term purchase intent highest for laptop computers
                                                                  • Figure 31: Top five planned technology product purchases in the next year, June 2016
                                                                • Young men ready to buy laptops this year; brands need to build awareness among women
                                                                  • Figure 32: Purchase intent for laptop computers (next 12 months), by age and gender, June 2016
                                                                • Smartphones are key product purchases for moms and dads
                                                                  • Figure 33: Purchase intent for smartphones (next 12 months), by parental status and gender, June 2016
                                                                • Hispanics aiming to purchase televisions
                                                                  • Figure 34: Purchase intent for HD and smart TVs (next 12 months), by race and hispanic origin, June 2016
                                                              • Consumers' Interest in New Technology Products

                                                                • Transforming interest to purchase intent to purchases a challenge
                                                                    • Figure 35: Consumers' Interest in New Technology Products, June 2016
                                                                  • Purchase interest in curved screen TVs and phones and smart glasses
                                                                      • Figure 36: Consumers' Interest in New Technology Products – Curved devices and smart glasses, June 2016
                                                                    • Ownership of new technology products highest among 25-34s and 35-44s
                                                                      • Figure 37: Consumers' interest in new technology products, by age, June 2016
                                                                    • Digital assistants could inspire the connected home
                                                                        • Figure 38: Consumers' Interest in smart speakers, by household income, June 2016
                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                        • Sales data
                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                            • Direct marketing creative
                                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                  • Terms