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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Digital Trends (Consumer) 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? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report details how consumers use technology in their daily
lives. Topics covered include:

  • Devices used to connect to the internet
  • Digital activities
  • Primary technology functions
  • Topics of online discussion
  • Digital media
  • Attitudes toward technology

The report is part of Mintel’s Digital Trends series. Analysis is built
off of Digital Trends (Consumer) – US, March 2018 as well as the
complementary Report Digital Trends (Hardware) – US, September

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by John Poelking, a leading analyst in the Leisure & Media sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Consumers have accepted the vital role that technology plays in their daily lives. Media preferences dictate how new technology is used and where people spend most of their time online. New software will likely focus on speed and reliability rather than “wow” factor to sustain long-term engagement
John Poelking
Leisure & Media Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • Figure 1: Devices used to connect to the internet, 2019 vs 2018
        • Media engagement is part of the routine
          • News, video sites frequented on a daily basis
            • Key opportunity
              • Figure 2: Frequency of digital activities, February 2019
            • Shifting discussions to social issues
              • Hot topics take over online discourse
                • Key opportunity
                  • Figure 3: Online discussion topics, February 2019
                • Speed, reliability matter
                  • Tech dependence enhanced by immediate access
                    • Key opportunity
                      • Figure 4: The importance of fast internet, February 2019
                    • Getting used to the new stuff
                      • Technology gets outdated but is easy to adopt
                        • Key opportunity
                          • Figure 5: Attitudes toward new technology, February 2019
                        • What it means
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • Mobile is standard
                            • More for the young and the parents
                              • Investing in free time
                              • Devices Used

                                • Smartphones catch up to computers
                                  • Figure 6: Use of computers and smartphones to access the internet, 2018 and 2019
                                • Connecting the home
                                  • Figure 7: Use of home devices to access the internet, 2018 and 2019
                                • Men emphasizing the home
                                  • Figure 8: Devices used to access the internet, by gender, February 2019
                                • Age marks potential for connected devices
                                  • Figure 9: Devices used to access the internet, by age, February 2019
                              • Demographic Indicators

                                • More people entering key tech spending years
                                  • Figure 10: Population by age, 2013-23
                                • Household income rebounding, especially among parents
                                  • Figure 11: Median household income, total population and households of families with related children, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2007-17
                              • Market Perspective

                                • Finding more room for fun
                                  • Figure 12: US leisure and entertainment market size, 2013-18
                                • More players entering a crowded field
                                  • Mobile devices enter homes early
                                    • Money continues to flow online
                                    • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                                      • Connection is key
                                        • Replacing the novel tech
                                          • Enhancing the experience
                                          • What’s Working?

                                            • Everything’s connected
                                              • Digital assistants have staked their claim
                                                • Figure 13: @starring Instagram post, March 2019
                                              • Gaming is a rising star
                                                • Easy access to lots of content
                                                  • Disconnect to feel fine with dependence
                                                    • Figure 14: @hinge Instagram post, March 2019
                                                • What’s Struggling?

                                                  • Cool is not more important than convenient
                                                    • The power of the computer as the hub
                                                    • What’s Next?

                                                      • The impending rollout of 5G
                                                        • Information creates intuition
                                                          • Developing the live experience
                                                            • Emphasizing total wellbeing
                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                              • Daily activities dominated by media
                                                                • Education outweighs connection
                                                                  • Tumultuous times bring heated discussions
                                                                    • Adding to the digital media experience
                                                                      • Tech dependence brings rewards and frustrations
                                                                        • Keeping up with new tech
                                                                          • Consumer segmentation highlights key opportunities
                                                                          • Digital Activities

                                                                            • Key opportunity
                                                                              • Shopping, media prominent for most adults
                                                                                • Figure 15: Digital activities, February 2019
                                                                              • Media takes up the most time
                                                                                • Figure 16: Frequency of digital activities, February 2019
                                                                            • Reasons to Use Technology

                                                                              • Key opportunity
                                                                                • Connecting in a digital world
                                                                                  • Figure 17: Reasons to use technology, February 2019
                                                                                • Women connect, men consume
                                                                                  • Figure 18: Reasons to use technology, by gender, February 2019
                                                                                • Priorities shift in different life stages
                                                                                  • Figure 19: Reasons to use technology, by age, February 2019
                                                                              • Online Discussions

                                                                                • Key opportunity
                                                                                  • Personal views outweigh pop culture online
                                                                                    • The dominance of social issues
                                                                                      • Some media matters more than others
                                                                                        • Lifestyle topics more rare
                                                                                          • Figure 20: Online discussion topics, February 2019
                                                                                        • Interests dictate discussions for men and women
                                                                                          • Figure 21: Online discussion topics, February 2019
                                                                                      • Digital Media Behaviors

                                                                                        • Key opportunity
                                                                                          • Streaming over many locations
                                                                                            • Figure 22: Video subscription behaviors, February 2019
                                                                                          • Addition happens more than subtraction
                                                                                            • Figure 23: New and canceled subscriptions, February 2019
                                                                                          • More calls for longer content
                                                                                            • Figure 24: Podcast behaviors and video length preferences, 2018 and 2019
                                                                                        • The Role of Tech in Daily Life

                                                                                          • Key opportunity
                                                                                            • Consumers want everything at their fingertips
                                                                                              • Figure 25: The importance of fast internet, February 2019
                                                                                            • Online socializing is a balancing act
                                                                                              • Figure 26: Attitudes toward online socializing, February 2019
                                                                                          • Attitudes toward New Tech

                                                                                            • Key opportunity
                                                                                              • Education fairly easy with new technology
                                                                                                • Figure 27: Attitudes toward new technology, February 2019
                                                                                              • Staying on the ball with new technology
                                                                                                • Figure 28: Attitudes toward outdated technology, February 2019
                                                                                              • Getting used to the suite life
                                                                                                • Figure 29: Attitudes toward connected technology, February 2019
                                                                                            • Consumer Segmentation

                                                                                                • Factors
                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Consumer segmentation, February 2019
                                                                                                  • Media Movers (40%)
                                                                                                    • Demographics
                                                                                                      • Characteristics
                                                                                                        • Opportunities
                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Consumer segmentation – Media Movers, by demographics, February 2019
                                                                                                          • Retro Recluses (32%)
                                                                                                            • Demographics
                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                • Opportunities
                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Consumer segmentation – Retro Recluses, by demographics, February 2019
                                                                                                                • Social Searchers (28%)
                                                                                                                  • Demographics
                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                      • Opportunities
                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Consumer segmentation – Social Searchers, by demographics, February 2019
                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                • Terms
                                                                                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Daily social media usage, by gender, February 2019

                                                                                                                                About the report

                                                                                                                                This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


                                                                                                                                Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


                                                                                                                                Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


                                                                                                                                Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


                                                                                                                                Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

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