Category Archives: Demographics & Econographics

Every Step You Take – Smartphone Step-Trackers (TUPdate)

Every Step You Take – Smartphone Step-Trackers – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, March 24, 2017

Baby steps count, as long as they’re in the right direction.  Digital health promises positive outcomes for a wide range of people. However, like gym memberships and home treadmills, they don’t do much unless people use them. A first step for many is to use what’s handy. Most Smartphones can track a user’s steps, and many are being used for that purpose, although use isn’t as widespread as Fitness Trackers or Smartwatches.

Phone Home or Walk Home?

Using one’s Smartphone to track steps is a regular activity for 25 million, or 1 in 9, US adults. There are other ways to track one’s health. Electronics activity trackers, such as the FitBit, are being actively used by 39.6 million, or 18% of US adults.

Also, Smartwatches are in active use by 36 million adults, or 17% of all U.S. Connected Adults.

Plans to Buy a Fitness Tracker

The strongest plans to purchase a fitness tracker are among adults who are already actively counting their steps. One-sixth (16%) of adults who are currently tracking their steps using a Smartphone are planning to buy a Fitness Tracker in the next 12 months. Fitness Tracker purchase plans are much smaller among Smartphone users who aren’t already using it to track their steps. Purchase plans are even smaller among adults who do not currently use a Smartphone.

Active Usage and Plans to Buy a Fitness Tracker – Age-related (in part)

The highest usage rates for electronic activity trackers is among older millennials, age 28-35, with nearly one-third (32%) actively using one. The shouldering cohorts have lower user rates that are identical with each other – 20%. Each older age group has a lower usage rate.

The pattern is different for tracking steps using a Smartphone. Younger adults, especially Younger Millennials, have the highest usage rates. Nearly one-in-five (19%) of Younger Millennials (age 18-27) use a Smartphone to track their steps. Slightly fewer (15%) of Older Millennials (age 28-35) do, and even fewer (11%) of GenX (age 36-51) do.

Purchase plans follow a similar pattern of being age-related, with younger adults having stronger plans than older adults.

There are many reasons for the difference in age interest between Fitness Trackers and Smartphones. One factor is the persistent wobbliness between BOB and SAK in tech. BOB means Best of Breed, which includes focused-function devices or services which focus on being the best in their class for a narrow set of capabilities. SAK refers to the Swiss Army Knife approach, integrating a broad range of adequate capabilities into a device or service. Over the last three decades of tech research, our research shows a constantly shifting balance between the adoption of BOB versus SAK, and for all kinds of technology products and services.

Separate wearables dedicated to fitness have the charm of being stylish accessories, of more appeal to younger adults. Also, any adults more athletic than their older counterparts will value the accuracy of dedicated fitness tracker, whether that additional accuracy is actual or perceived. Cost is a factor to some extent, as these younger adults don’t have the financial means of the next-older age cohort. Younger Millennials have the highest unemployment rates (10%), student rates (30%), and part-time employment rates (19%) of any of the age cohorts. Their full-time employment rate (29%) is nearly half that of Older Millennials (56%).

Looking ahead

Fitness Trackers and Smartwatches, although both Wearables, are not exactly in the same category. Fitness tracker makers would argue they are different in accuracy, health tracking beyond steps such as pulse rates, lower cost, or with design that’s more clearly oriented towards fitness. Purchase plans are similar, though, with 6% of U.S. Connected Adults planning by buy a Fitness Tracker in the coming 12 months, and 7% planning to buy a Smartwatch. What’s interesting is that the majority of those planning to acquire either type of device are employed full-time or part-time.

Perhaps some savvy marketers will join forces with employers oriented towards supporting their employee’s health, and support the many with healthy intentions. Whether supported or not, we expect digital health to reach further into the lives of Connected Adults, as an increasing number of devices offer metrics that matter.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.
This TUPdate was based on results in the TUP Chapter – Consumer Electronics, Section WEAR/Wearables, Hearables, Listening and Speaking.

Related MetaFAQs

The following related MetaFAQs address questions included in this TUPdate.

mq0118 Who is already wearing wearable technology? Chapter: I Wearables, Hearables, Listening & Speaking  Section: I1-WEAR/Wearable Technology  Tables: [120 DRxWEAR] Respondent Demographics
mq0124 Is there an age skew for using a Smartwatch? Chapter: A User Profile  Section: A4-AGE/Age Ranges  Tables: [480 CExAGE] Consumer Electronics
mq0132 Is there an age skew for those using a Smartphone to track their steps? Chapter: A User Profile  Section: A4-AGE/Age Ranges  Tables: [480 CExAGE] Consumer Electronics
mq0169 Is there an age skew for using wearable activity trackers, such as a FitBit? Chapter: A User Profile  Section: A4-AGE/Age Ranges  Tables: [480 CExAGE] Consumer Electronics
mq0260 Are tech wearers bigger or lower tech spenders? Chapter: I Wearables, Hearables, Listening & Speaking  Section: I1-WEAR/Wearable Technology  Tables: [790 SPENDxWEAR] Tech Spending
mq0335 Are tech wearers more or less socially active? Chapter: I Wearables, Hearables, Listening & Speaking  Section: I1-WEAR/Wearable Technology  Tables: [230 SNSxWEAR] Social Networkers
mq0374 Are tech wearers earlier Desktop, Notebook, or Smartphone adopters? Chapter: I Wearables, Hearables, Listening & Speaking  Section: I1-WEAR/Wearable Technology  Tables: [160 ADOPTxWEAR] Technology Adoption
mq0375 Are tech wearers early adopters? Chapter: I Wearables, Hearables, Listening & Speaking  Section: I1-WEAR/Wearable Technology  Tables: [160 ADOPTxWEAR] Technology Adoption
mq0393 Do technology wearers use more or fewer CE products? Chapter: I Wearables, Hearables, Listening & Speaking  Section: I1-WEAR/Wearable Technology  Tables: [480 CExWEAR] Consumer Electronics
mq0395 Do technology wearers use more or fewer connected devices? Chapter: I Wearables, Hearables, Listening & Speaking  Section: I1-WEAR/Wearable Technology  Tables: [490 UNITSxWEAR] Units
mq0424 Are tech wearers more or less active with their devices than others? Chapter: I Wearables, Hearables, Listening & Speaking  Section: I1-WEAR/Wearable Technology  Tables: [540 ACTxWEAR] Activities
mq0425 Are tech wearers using more-mobile tech products? Chapter: I Wearables, Hearables, Listening & Speaking  Section: I1-WEAR/Wearable Technology  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxWEAR] Key Device Metrics
mq0710 Do Smartwatch users use voice assistants at a higher rate than average? Chapter: I Wearables, Hearables, Listening & Speaking  Section: I3-VOICEASST/Voice Assistance  Tables: [480 CExVOICEASST] Consumer Electronics

 

 

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Filed under Demographics & Econographics, Fitness Trackers, Market Research, Personal and Productivity, Smartphones, Smartwatches, TUP 2016, TUPdate, Usage Patterns

Are most hearables being used by young males? (MetaFAQs)

Wireless headsets have been available for more than a decade, and are strongest among two age and gender groups. These hearables-active groups are also have above-average shares of VR Headset early adopters.metafacts-metafaqs-mq0100-120drxhear-2017-02-13_08-31-37

The strongest segments for active hearables use include younger males – age 18-44 and youngish females – age 25-34. Penetration is above one in four among males 25-34 (27%) and among males age 35-44 (26%). Among females, hearables usage peaks among females age 25-34, at 15%.

Looking ahead, we expect these same age & gender groups to continue as the strongest users of hearables, and don’t expect other segments to be as keen on hearables.

Continue reading

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Filed under Communication, Demographics & Econographics, Entertainment, Forward-Leaning, MetaFAQs, Mobile Phones, Smartphones, TUP 2016, Usage Patterns, Video calling

Life Stages and Technology Adoption – TUPdate

Life Stage and Technology Adoption – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, December 16, 2016

The stages of life – although many take different paths – are a useful component of understanding technology users. Pivotal life events shape us – forming a family or empty-nesting, passing key birthdays, or joining or leaving from the workforce.
Kids matter – in many ways, and very much so when it comes to understanding technology spending, usage, adoption, and the future of tech. Simply knowing whether children are present or not provides a lot of explanatory power for a technology user’s profile.metafacts-tup-life-stage-factors-2016-12-16_11-17-07

Presence of children is one of three factors that make up life stage analysis, with the other two being age and employment status.
Within the TUP study, MetaFacts determines life stage by creating eight mutually-exclusive groups, each formed by two values of three components. We grouped respondent’s ages into 18-39 (“younger”) and 40 and above (“older”), and presence of children into present or not present. Being employed in the workforce includes any working full-time, part-time, or self-employed. Those not employed outside the home include students, the retired, homemakers, seasonally unemployed and temporarily unemployed.
Life stage analysis is a useful and productive way to quickly sift through mountains of sociodemographics. These three factors, although not exhaustive, provide strong definitional power with respect to predicting and profiling technology acquisition and usage.

Tech Spending by Life Stage

The biggest tech spenders are those adults within the life stage group: younger, employed, and with children. Adults age 18-38 who have kids and are actively employed full-time, part-time, or self-employed spend 66% more on tech devices and services in a year than the average adult. The second-biggest life stage group in tech spending also have kids and are employed, although are age 40 and up. This group’s tech spend is 16% higher than the national average.metafacts-td161215-life-stage-tech-spend-index-2016-12-15_11-48-59
At the other end of the spectrum, with the lowest tech spending levels, are adults age 40+, not employed, and without kids. Their index of 67 reflects their tech spending levels 33% below the national average for connected adults. All of the life stage groups without children spend below the national average for tech devices and services. Also, adults who are not employed outside the home spend less than the average connected adult on tech.

Consumer Electronics and Life Stage

Life stage analysis reveals both laggards and early adopters of many leading technology products. The connected home appears to be doing well – although only among one life stage segment. Employed adults age 18-39 with children stand heads and shoulders above all other segments in market penetration. From smart locks to video doorbells, this group’s usage is significantly stronger than other life stage groups. This group is also clearly strongest in the use of certain other consumer electronics products – golf swing analyzers, GoPro-type headcams, and to further feather the nest, home projectors. Relative penetration of this last item is not quite as different, reflecting in part the higher price of home projectors compared to these other devices, and that they have been available for more years than the other devices.metafacts-td161215-life-stage-consumer-electronics-2016-12-15_14-30-47

One consumer electronic product has reached entirely different life stage segments – the venerable record player. Although turntables and vinyl albums have enjoyed some resurgence following their near-extinction, current usage is primarily among adults age 40 and up, and less so among younger adults. In addition to nostalgic ties and musical memories, these listeners also are more likely to have old LPs.

Life Stage Penetration of Key Tech Devices

Life stage analysis also reveals differences in the use of many key computing and printing devices. The notebook penetration rate among adults employed 18-39 with kids is double that of adults not employed 40+ without kids. There’s an even stronger difference for use of a second PC, with Employed 18-39 with kids having triple the penetration rate of not employed 40+ without kids. And, with nearly a quintuple rate difference, use of game consoles among not employed adults age 18-39 with kids is two-thirds (66%), 4.8 times higher than the 14% rate among not employed 40+ without children.metafacts-td161215-life-stage-key-devices-2016-12-15_14-30-47

Number of Devices by OS

Windows dominates computing devices, as it has for decades. Among all life stage groups, the average number of devices is highest for Windows devices. Apple and Google Android/Chrome devices are gaining in the average number in active use. Among adults 18-39 not employed, there is no difference between Windows and Apple in the number of each OS in active use.
Apple ranks second among all life stage segments except one – 40+, Not employed with Kids. Although the difference is small, this reflects the lower penetration Apple devices have among older adults.metafacts-td161215-key-devices-by-os-2016-12-16_08-03-24

Looking Ahead

Life stage analysis reveals important market segments, especially to separate laggards from early adopters of the newest technology. This approach also helps in predicting future adoption. As technology users navigate their own life courses and transitions. Although it isn’t true that parents leave a maternity ward with additional tech devices, it’s typically not too long that tech accumulation begins.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. This TUPdate is based on the TUP Life Stage section, which is within the TUP 2016 User Profile Chapter.

Supporting MetaFAQs

  • mq0137 – What is the penetration of home-owned computing devices? – [250 DEV_KEYxLIFE]
  • mq0257 – Which Life Stage segment spends the most on tech devices and services? – [790 SPENDxLIFE]
  • mq0215 – Which Life Stage segment use VR Headsets the most? – [480 CExLIFE]
  • mq0275 – Which Life Stage segments have the highest share of Windows, Apple, and Google OS devices? – [270 DEVxLIFE]
  • mq0594 – Which Life Stage group has the highest usage of Notebook PCs? – [250 DEV_KEYxLIFE]
  • mq0610 – Which Life Stage group has the highest usage of e-Book Readers? – [250 DEV_KEYxLIFE]

Related MetaFAQs

  • mq0091 – What is the percent of Home PC users that use printers? – [250 DEV_KEYxLIFE]
  • mq0237 – What is the average number of Home Tablets being used? – [490 UNITSxLIFE]
  • mq0236 – What is the average number of Home PCs being used? – [490 UNITSxLIFE]
  • mq0150 – Are many users using remote printing services? Are these using their Internet-ready printers or online printing services? Which segments are using remote printing as a substitute for home printing, and which as an additional way to print? – [590 ACT_IMGxLIFE]
  • mq0540 – How are TV and movie device usage levels different across Life Stage segments? – [480 CExLIFE]
  • mq0213 – How does the penetration of OS Ecosystems vary by device type? – [250 DEV_KEYxDEV_ECO]

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Filed under Consumer research, Demographics & Econographics, e-Book Readers, Entertainment, Notebooks, Printers, TUP 2016, TUPdate, Usage Patterns

Tech for some of us? Tech usage and age (TUPdate)

Tech for some of us? Tech usage and age – Dan Ness, November 10, 2016

I’ve been to county fairs where a carnival seer will guess your age and weight. If these diviners were steeped in tech awareness, might they be able to go further and guesstimate if the person uses a video doorbell, 3D printer, or VR headset? I doubt it. Not being psychic, we rely on directly asking people through scientific surveys.

Although age alone doesn’t tell everything about a technology user, analysis of the market by age reveals some striking differences in user’s technology activities, use cases, consumer electronics penetration, connected device usage, and tech purchase intentions.MetaFacts td1611-plans-youth-skewed-2016-11-10_09-23-41

Market penetration is steeply skewed towards younger adults for most consumer electronics products and services. Analyzing our survey results from TUP 2016, most consumer electronics products index higher among younger than older adults. (An index of 100 means that the product is being used as the same rate as the national average.) Products that index well above 200 (double the national rate) for age 25-39 are many, including OTT TV Boxes ASUS Cube, Google Nexus Player and Google/Android TV. To dispel the notion this age group is sedentary, golf swing analyzers also index high. Furthermore, this group is tech-feathering their nests with video doorbells and smart locks.MetaFacts td16-elder-skewed-2016-11-09_16-51-10

Older adults can claim dominance in other consumer electronics products and services. Subscription to Cable TV is stronger among older than younger adults. Many younger adults that watch TV do so using the Internet. Turntables that play vinyl albums (Record Players) index more strongly among older adults. This may in part reflect that older adults may still have vinyl collections to play, while younger adults can either play newer more-expensive albums or track down older LPs. The elder-skewed usage indexes are not as strongly defined as those for youth-skewed, reflecting moderate use of both of these products and services among younger adults.

I know from decades of consumer research that age is only one factor describing technology users. So, I drilled down further into TUP to adjust for educational attainment and employment status. By rank order, the list of age-skewed consumer electronics is nearly identical by age for employed and self-employed adults. This pattern is similar for those who are college educated.

A similar pattern emerges for Connected Devices. Certain products are being used by a higher share of younger than older adults.MetaFacts td1611-devices-youth-skewed-2016-11-10_09-25-15

Interestingly, the highest-ranked youth-skewed top devices weren’t personally paid for by younger adults, and instead were bought by their employers. These range from work e-Book Readers and Tablets to All-in-One PCs and yes, Basic cell phones. When younger adults buy tech with their own money, two more highly-favored devices are Game Consoles and Apple MacBooks. Furthermore, whether as a sign of mobility, resourcefulness or freeloading, younger adults index higher for use of a public/shared printer, such as might be in a cybercafé, library, or hotel business center. They also index higher for using three or more printers, regardless of ownership.

There’s an old adage that goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is likely uttered more often among older than younger adults. The active installed base for older adults skews higher for Home PCs running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. Personal basic feature phones also index higher by older adults.MetaFacts td1611-devices-elder-skewed-2016-11-10_09-24-29

Considering the near future through buyer sentiment, a similarly distinctive young/old pattern emerges. Gaming Desktops and Gaming Notebooks, those highly-configured clocked-up fun machines, are skewed more steeply than current usage indexes. Smaller and often more-stylish PCs in the Mini Desktop PC form factor rank strongest. One product which might surprise some is the Apple iPod Touch. It’s effectively a Wi-Fi iPhone, capable of running many iOS apps although without cellular coverage. Since younger adults index higher for Work Basic feature phones, perhaps this device is a stepping stone or companion. Other notable youth-skewing planned devices include wearables – Android SmartWatch, Apple Watch, or another Smart Watch.

Purchase intentions skewed toward older adults shows a different picture. From the long list of technology products we surveyed about, none show a measurably strong skew among older adults. The three products even near to being stronger for purchase intentions are the basic cell phone, a printer, and traditional notebook PC. As I mentioned earlier, younger adults have a higher likelihood to be using a work or public/shared printer than older adults, which may contribute to them not being as eager to buy one of their own. As to traditional notebooks, younger adults are also the ones more strongly considering convertible and 2-in-1 designs, while also many consider traditionals. The picture for basic cell phones is scattered due to their continued decline, so any remaining plans are less aligned by age than by socioeconomic situation.MetaFacts td1611-plans-youth-skewed-2016-11-10_09-23-41

There’s another dimension to age that bears inclusion – experience. Newbie users make different choices than technology veterans. I dove into our technology adoption data in TUP to compare purchase plans by the longevity of the user’s experience. While those who are in the newest-third of users of PCs, Mobile Phones, or Tablets are also generally younger, that’s not entirely the case. First-time use for a Tablet is not limited to young adults; plenty of 30-something and 40-somethings are continuing to join the ranks of active Tablet users. In fact, 59% of adults who have used a Tablet PC for 1 year or less are age 35 and higher.MetaFacts td1611-plans-by-more-experience-2016-11-10_10-40-10

As we analyzed the purchase plans of the most-seasoned technology users – those who are in the top-third with the most years having used a PC, Mobile Phone, or Tablet, we found that purchase intentions are focused on different products than among newbies. 3D Printers, 2-in-1 Laptops, and Fitness trackers index much higher among the tech-experienced.

Gaming Notebooks, Gaming Desktops, and Mini Desktop PCs rank strongly among tech newbies. Some of this correlates strongly with lower age, as mentioned earlier. However, Tower Desktop PCs also rank strongly. Cloud Home Monitoring/Security solutions stand out as an up-and-coming area which are holding the interest of tech newbies, and less so among the tech-experienced.MetaFacts td1611-plans-by-less-experience-2016-11-10_10-40-10

Age is a good start in understanding technology users. But, like the skill of a carnival psychic, only goes so far.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). Trend information is based on prior waves. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

The TUP 2016 User Profile Chapter details age, as well as life stage, age cohort, employer size, and other key analysis points. The TUP 2016 Technology Adoption Chapter drills down into experience to profile Early Adopters, the Early and Late Majority, and Laggards.

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Filed under 3D Printers, Basic cell phones, Behaviors and Activities, Convertibles, Demographics & Econographics, Desktops, Devices, e-Book Readers, Game Consoles, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Printers, Smartphones, Tablets, Technology adoption, TUP 2016, TUPdate

Who spends most on tech – older or younger adults? (MetaFAQs)

In many tech circles, there’s a strong attention on the youngest adults. How true is it that younger adults spend more than older adults?

Our research shows that when it comes to household tech spending, age matters, although it’s not that simple.

First of all, while the youngest adults often are the most enthusiastic about technology, they don’t have the same financial means of older adults.

The majority of household tech spending is among adults age 30-39.metafacts-mqxxxx-tech-spending-x-age-2016-11-01_07-51-20

More importantly, when adjusting for employment status – including the self-employed – the analysis is clearer. Employed adults out-spend those not employed from ages 25 to 54.

There’s a “late life kicker” that’s important to note. After age 60, household tech spending is stronger among those not employed than those employed. Also, although employment rates decline with age, total household tech spending is stronger among the age 65-69 group than the age 55-59.

This is based on our most recent research among 7,336 US adults as part of the Technology User Profile (TUP) 2016 survey.

This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active technology users. Specifically for this analysis, we looked at household tech spending along 15 categories of technology devices and services, from PCs, printers, and routers to Internet and mobile phone service.

Many other related answers are part of the full TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP chapters with the most information about activities is the TUP 2016 User Profile Chapter, which includes sections more deeply analyzing by age and life stage.

These MetaFAQs are brought to you by MetaFacts, based on research results from their most-recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP).

For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Consumer research, Demographics & Econographics, Households, Market Research, MetaFAQs, TUP 2016