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20% of Americans Access the Internet Exclusively from Their Phones at Home

by | 3 minute read

“Americans tend to view the impact of the internet and other digital technologies on their own lives in largely positive ways, Pew Research Center surveys have shown over the years. A survey of U.S. adults conducted in January 2018 finds continuing evidence of this trend, with the vast majority of internet users (88%) saying the internet has, on balance, been a mostly good thing for them personally.”

“This is balanced by a corresponding increase (from 8% to 14%) in the share of online adults who say the internet’s societal impact is a mix of good and bad. Meanwhile, the share saying the internet has been a mostly bad thing for society is largely unchanged over that time: 15% said this in 2014, and 14% say so today.”

“This shift in opinion regarding the ultimate social impact of the internet is particularly stark among older Americans, despite the fact that older adults have been especially rapid adopters of consumer technologies such as social media and smartphones in recent years. Today 64% of online adults ages 65 and older say the internet has been a mostly good thing for society. That represents a 14-point decline from the 78% who said this in 2014. The attitudes of younger adults have remained more consistent over that time: 74% of internet users ages 18 to 29 say the internet has been mostly good for society, comparable to the 79% who said so in 2014.”

According to AudienceSCAN, 19.8% of Smartphone Users are between the ages of 25 and 34, but this group is also 10% more likely than other adults to be between the ages of 17 and 24. About 21.1% of them have annual household incomes of between $25,000 and $49,999 and, while 52% of them are married, 56.8% don’t have kids.

“These attitudinal changes are occurring in a broader landscape in which the access options available to ordinary Americans are shifting dramatically. Most notably, fully one-in-five Americans (20%) are now “smartphone only” internet users at home – that is, they own a smartphone but do not subscribe to traditional broadband service where they live. This represents a 7-point increase compared with data from 2015, when 13% of Americans were smartphone-only users. Roughly two-thirds of Americans (65%) say they subscribe to traditional broadband service at home, similar to the 67% who said this in July 2015.”

“As has consistently been true in past surveys conducted by the Center, those who rely on their smartphones for home internet service are disproportionately less likely to have attended college compared with those with traditional broadband service. They also report living in lower-income households. For instance, 31% of Americans with an annual household income of less than $30,000 are smartphone-only internet users, more than three times the share among those living in households earning $75,000 or more per year (9%). This phenomenon is also notably more prevalent among blacks and Hispanics than among whites.”

In fact, according to AudienceSCAN, only 10.7% of Smartphone Users plan to pay for high-speed internet service for their homes this year.

“Conversely, relatively well-educated and financially well-off Americans are substantially more likely to say they do have a traditional broadband connection at home. Nearly nine-in-ten Americans in households earning $75,000 or more per year say they subscribe to home broadband service, nearly double the rate among those earning less than $30,000 per year (45% of whom have broadband service at home).”

So, how can Smartphone Users be targeted with advertising? While they are spending a good deal of time on their phones, 45.6% of them still view TV as their go-to medium to get their local news, according to AudienceSCAN. Within the last year, 60.7% of these consumers took action after seeing a TV commercial. Internet ads aren’t far behind though. Within the last year, 50.4% of Smartphone Users took action after seeing an ad on a social network, sponsored search results  motivated 49.8% to take action and 47.9% were motivated into action after receiving email newsletters or ads.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.

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