Which Common Tablet Activities Vary in Popularity by Age?

July 26, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Digital | Email | Media & Entertainment | Mobile Phone | Retail & E-Commerce | Youth & Gen X

Adobe-Common-Tablet-Activities-by-Age-Group-July2013While young (18-29), middle-aged (30-49) and and older (50-64) tablet users display strikingly similar levels of use of their devices, they sometimes differ when it comes to their preferred activities, according to [download page] a recent report from Adobe that surveyed more than 3,000 mobile users across the US, Canada, UK, France and Germany. While that’s certainly not a shocking insight, it’s nonetheless interesting to see the relative popularity of different activities among these age groups.

Two activities in which younger users show a clear preference are gaming and videos – if nothing else, those results confirm intuition. Among the 18-29 crowd, 63% say they play games on their tablets, a figure which drops to 56% among the middle-aged and 50% among the older group. Gaming actually emerges as the most popular activity among young tablet owners, although one would suspect that social networking would have been at least as popular an activity should it have been included as an option.

In any case, the gap in usage is even more pronounced when it comes to online video. 55% of young tablet owners across the 5 countries say they commonly watch videos on their tablets. Just 31% of the older group concur. Video viewing on tablets tends to be a more youthful activity, it appears: GfK recently reported that in the US, Millennial tablet owners spend on average 23% of their total video viewing time (time spent watching video on any device, including TV, in a 7-day period) with their devices, about twice the proportion of time spent by tablet-owning Baby Boomers (11%).

While youth are more likely than their older counterparts to be found watching videos and gaming on their tablets, the opposite is true for emailing and checking out the news and weather. Email use on tablets is most prevalent among the 50-64 bracket, with 70% doing so, compared to 57% of 18-29-year-olds. Similarly, older tablet owners are more likely than younger ones to check out the news (60% vs. 44%) and weather (52% vs. 41%).

Interestingly, there doesn’t appear to be much of an age gap when it comes to using tablets for shopping, with 42-44% of respondents claiming to do so.

Finally, separate results suggest that tablets aren’t so “mobile.” Across each age group, roughly 8 in 10 respondents said they use their tablet most frequently at home. 50-64-year-olds were the most likely of the age groups to say they use them most frequently while out and about, with 17% saying that was the case.

About the Data: The survey was conducted in March 2013 by Survey Sampling International.

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