Category Archives: Market Sizing

Alone Americans – Overlooked Technology Users? [TUPdate]

Sometimes the slow-moving trends are the ones that get missed. Coupled with preconceived notions, these have the makings of blind spots. For many tech companies, single-person American households may be an overlooked market segment.

Based on research by the U.S. Census and our TUP/Technology User Profile service, 1-person American households are a sizable and growing segment with more to them than may be apparent at first. Also, they are not created equally, especially in which technology products and services they actively use.

Tech marketers often advertise with images of bustling families juggling their lives and devices. Soccer moms abound. This perpetuates a myth that’s leaving many out in the less connected and underserved cold. Furthermore, many companies from Amazon to Spotify and T-Mobile have created family plans that financially favor multi-person households, making their offerings less attractive to the many 1-person households.

While it makes sense for any marketers to focus on the biggest-seeming opportunities, and families are big tech consumers, sometimes this is done out of habit or custom, which may mean missing opportunities.

The number of single-person households has grown in share and number

The US Census reports that single-person households make up 28% of households in 2018, up substantially up from 13% in 1960. Similarly, the number of households has also grown, at 35.7 million in 2018, up from 6.9 million in 1960. Whether through preference or necessity, 1-person households are a substantial slice of the American market. Most forecasts indicate the share remaining stable for years to come.

On First Glance, 1-Person Households Seem Tech-Avoidant

When it comes to the devices Americans in 1-person households use, our TUP/Technology User Profile service shows that as a group, they’re behind the curve. American 1-person households appear to be languishing in technology’s past. They are 27% more likely than the average online American adult to still be using a home PC using Windows 7, the Microsoft operating systems nearing its end of life. The replacement for Windows Vista officially came off Microsoft’s mainstream support four years ago – in January 2015. Extended support has been available, yet that support is scheduled to be discontinued in less than one year, by January 2020. Also, 1-person households are well above average (22% higher than average) in their use of a home-owned basic feature phone.

In contrast, American households where children are present have well above-average rates of using many key devices – Windows tablets, game consoles, and Apple Notebooks. This simple view may clarify why some companies prefer to simply tailor their products and services to larger households and avoid smaller ones.

However, looking more deeply into 1-person households, there’s more than household size and core technology that reveals their differences.

A Deeper Look – Young and Old Singles

Within 1-person households, there’s a striking difference between younger and older adults in the profile of their technology usage. The highest usage index for Windows 7 home PCs is among older (age 35+) singles, at 48% higher than the national average. Similarly, there’s an index of 131 for use of a home-owned basic feature phone.

In stark contrast, among younger 1-person households, usage is strongly higher for many key technology devices: game consoles, Apple iPhones, Apple PCs (Macs), Apple notebooks, and Windows tablets.

However, age alone does not adequately describe 1-person households and their technology usage, nor does combining age and household size. There are yet other factors.

Size, Age, and Employment Status

Drilling down into the TUP/Technology User Profile results even more deeply, the combination of household size, age group, and employment status shows even stronger differences.

Have a job – part-time or full-time or even self-employed – and be younger than 40, and you’ll be among the highest technology adopters among 1-person households.

They are above average in using a Windows or Android Tablet, an Apple PC, iPhone, and game console.

The lowest technology adopters are those not employed outside the household and in 1-person households, both younger and older. These have the highest relative levels of using Windows 7 home PCs and home basic cell phones.

Family Plans Aren’t Only Used by Families

Interestingly, even while family/multi-person plans are ostensibly targeted at larger households, a substantial number of 1-person households are using them.

Nearly one-fourth (24%) of 1-person households have a smartphone plan with 2 or more lines. Similarly, “family” paid media subscriptions such as for music or TV are being used by 18% of America adults in 1-person households.

Looking ahead

Shifts in population may seem glacial especially by those in technology industries who are accustomed to frequent shifts. People change their living situations less quickly than they change their adoption of technology. Consequently, technology companies would be better served, as would 1-person households, to the extent these users are included in their offerings.

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the 2018 wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults.

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Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Basic cell phones, Consumer research, Demographics & Econographics, Households, Market Research, Market Segmentation, Market Sizing, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, TUP 2018, Usage Patterns

The Persistent PC – With A Perennial Core [TUPdate]

Americans continue to hang on to PCs as they expand their collection of actively connected devices. Instead of Tablets and Smartphones fully replacing PCs, they have added to the mix. Even so, the most-dedicated core of PC has settled to a stable size following the shift.

This is based on the MetaFacts TUP/Technology User Profile study waves from 2009 through 2018, collectively based on research results from 77,847 respondents.

The PC-intensive have shrunk in numbers over the years, establishing a solid minority. The most intensive – Adults with more PCs than people in their household – has coalesced into a core 10% of American adults. Moderate-intensity users – those with as many PCs in use as persons in their household – have been stable over the last decade in representing around one in four adults. In 2018, 22% of online Americans had as many PCs as people in their household.

The drive to mobility has finished making its impact. The transition to notebooks over desktops peaked in 2012, while smartphones, and tablets to some extent, diminished the need for many adults to be using more than one PC. As the lines continue to be blurred between tablets and PCs, and in other ways smartphones and tablets, users will increasingly focus on their activities. Rather than looking at devices first, users will make choices based on what it will take for them to get done that which they want to do.

Profile of the many-PC users

Adults with many PCs are generally younger than average and with a higher socioeconomic status. Almost two-thirds (65%) of adults actively using 3 or more PCs are college graduates, in contrast to 44% of online adults nationwide. Most (86%) are employed or self-employed, versus 61% nationwide. Over half (52%) are millennials (age 22-37/born 1981-1996) versus making up 34% of online adults nationwide. Also, 59% have annual household incomes of $75,000 or more (versus 38% nationwide) and over half (56%) have children in the households (versus 37% nationwide).

More adults who rely on a single PC choose HP. HP’s home PC share of the installed base among those adults using only one PC is 31%, followed by Dell’s share of 25%.

Looking Ahead

PCs are a present and vital part of the online user’s experience. This is likely to continue well into the future, although the definition of a PC is continuing to evolve. Users have expanded their activities across their many and multiple devices, broadly accepting multi-platform software supported by cloud storage. From tablets adding capabilities traditionally the province of PCs and notebooks adding abilities previously limited to smartphones or tablets, the definitions of device types is shifting. However, users continue to embrace change, shifting their device usage patterns more slowly than they discontinue their older devices. HP and Dell have strong brand share and inertia, and yet face strong challenges ahead as users shift from doing what they’ve done with PCs, and increasingly embrace multiple devices and platforms.

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from multiple waves of TUP (Technology User Profile), including the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults.

Resources
Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Behaviors and Activities, Consumer research, Devices, Households, Market Research, Market Sizing, Mobile Phones, Multiple Devices, Multiple-PC Household, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, TUP 2018, TUPdate

Multi OS Jugglers – Finger Foibles [TUPdate]

Finger foibles? Muscle memory? Most of us have done it – found our fingers fumbling for a key that isn’t on this keyboard, tapping a screen that’s not touch-sensitive, or expecting some function that’s not available on the device we’re using. Juggling devices across multiple operating system ecosystems can reveal our learned shortcuts and ingrained habits. And, a multi-OS experience affects most of us. More than two-thirds (69%) of online adults use two or more of the major operating systems – Windows, Android, iOS, or MacOS. Put another way, less than a third of online Americans use only one OS.

Who are these focused users who have chosen to stay within a single OS ecosystem, and how numerous are they? And, who are the flexible cross-platform savants who find a way to manage moving betwixt and between their collection of devices and ecosystems?

Who has the fanboys?

Microsoft Windows can rightly claim that they have the largest active base of dedicated fans. Over half (53%) of American adults who use a single OS are using Windows. As dedicated as they are, this group is relatively small, made up of only one in six (17%) online American adults.

This is based on TUP/Technology User Profile 2018, conducted among 7,521 online adults.

Those only using Apple iOS are fewer in number. Among single-OS users, they number just over one-fourth (28%). This is less than one in ten American adults, at 9%.

Even smaller is the hardy band of Android-only users, at one-sixth (17%) of single-US users and 5% of American adults.

What do the the flexible use?

Among the 69% of online American adults that use multiple OS ecosystems, Microsoft Windows is the most prevalent, with over half (57%) of online adults, and 83% of those who use more than one OS. So, anyone hoping to reach a broader market needs to seriously include Windows in their target platforms.

Those using Apple iOS or Google Android and nearly anything else are nearly equal in number. Just over half (53%) of those using multiple platforms are using Google Android, and slightly under half (48%) are using Apple iOS devices.

Which OS has the highest fan concentration?

If it’s not enough to have the greatest number of dedicated fans, their concentration matters. Microsoft Windows has the highest share of its users that are solely focused on devices with the OS ecosystem. Almost one fourth (23%) of Windows users only use Windows devices. Apple’s iOS has nearly the same level of fandom. Twenty-one percent of iOS users only use iOS devices, whether iPhones or iPads. Android has the lowest level of concentration, with only 13% that only use Android devices.

Who are the fanboys and flexible?

At first glance, its notable that the single-OS users are older than multi-OS jugglers. The median age of a single-US user is 50 years and that of a multi-OS user is 41. This difference is supported by the dominance of Windows PC users and Android Smartphone/Tablet users – older than their multi-OS counterparts. The median age of Windows-only users is 55, a baker’s dozen more years older than the median age of 42 for those using Windows along with any other major OS.

Are Platforms Used Differently?

The smartphone is the device of choice for nearly every type activity by multiple-OS users and single-OS users, with a few exceptions. Those who use Windows as their single OS primarily use a tower desktop for most of their activities. Also, those using multiple operating systems choose a tower desktop for their cloud storage/sharing activities.

Looking ahead

Although there are cross-platform apps that span OS ecosystems, many of them behave differently from platform to platform. Even small differences stymy users who are looking for a smooth experience across their devices, and especially doesn’t help those with a strong finger memory. Developers face a perennial Procrustean dilemma – either uniquely optimizing for each platform or offering an identical, if somehow substandard, experience.

High cross-platform compatibility is the nearest thing to the elusive “killer app” or “silver bullet”. OS ecosystems will be helped mostly by apps that offer enough functionality to entice users, yet not quite enough compatibility to lose the ecosystem’s unique cachet.

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This specific wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. In the TUP survey, we identified the connected devices being actively used and their operating systems, from those acquired with home/personal funds to those that are owned by employers, schools, or others.

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Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Behaviors and Activities, Cloud Storage, Desktops, Market Sizing, Operating systems, Smartphones, TUP 2018, TUPdate

Are we exclusive? An update on ecosystem exclusivity, dominance, and non-exclusivity [TUPdate]

Do customers act on ecosystems, choosing to focus within a brand’s family for their products and services? How many technology users are exclusive, or at least favor one over another?

Only one in eight (12%) of online adults around the world are truly exclusive, using products and services from only one of either Apple, Google, or Microsoft. This is based on the most recent wave of the MetaFacts TUP survey (Technology User Profile 2018), conducted among 14,273 online adults.

Nearly twice as many actively use a balanced mixture of ecosystems. True non-exclusivity is being actively practiced by one-fourth (25%) of online adults. (see the Methodology below for details on the segmentation approach used in this analysis.)

The largest group of users is between exclusivity and non-exclusivity, slightly favoring one ecosystem while still actively using at least one other. Over six in ten (62%) of online adults are in these segments. The Google-Dominant segment is on par with the Apple-Dominant segment, each representing one in five online adults.

Apple’s most-focused are more broadly invested in Apple’s ecosystem than are Google’s or Microsoft’s best. Most of Apple’s strength is supported by their connected devices – iPhones, iPads, and Macs to a lesser extent. The Apple-Exclusive (3% of online adults) use an average of 2.3 connected devices, and among the Apple-Dominant, this average is 2.1 devices. Use of voice assistant Apple Siri is the second-most component among the Apple-Exclusive, and also tied for second place among the Apple-Dominant. The Apple-Dominant are equally active with Microsoft devices, primarily Windows PCs.

The Google-Exclusive (3% of online adults) only use 1.4 Google devices on average, primarily an Android smartphone. Android tablets and Chromebooks aren’t as widely used among the Google-Exclusive as are Apple’s devices among the Apple-Exclusive.

The Microsoft-Exclusive (6% of online adults) show a pattern of entrenchment. Only Microsoft devices are in use besides some nominal use of Microsoft Cortana or Xbox consoles. The Microsoft-Dominant are a bit more exploratory, including a small number of Google devices and some use of Microsoft Cortana.

Profile of the Ecosystem Exclusivity Segments

Each ecosystem has appealed to very different groups of people, especially with respect to life stage. While Apple’s most-exclusive users have a higher share (44%) of younger adults with children, nearly half (48%) of Google’s most-exclusive users are not employed outside the home and don’t have children. This bodes well for Apple’s services and devices that bring extra value to families, such as Apple’s Family Sharing feature, which enables a way to share music, books, cloud storage and other Apple services between multiple users.

The Microsoft-Exclusive segment is singular, with nearly a third (32%) of its members being in a one-person household. The Apple and Google segments are relatively similar to each other, although Google’s have slightly more household members.

Looking ahead

It’s increasingly a multi-device, multi-person world. Sharing between one’s devices and platforms will continue to grow as a user need, as will sharing with others between disparate ecosystems. Although companies may aim for exclusivity, interoperability is more important. It involves the largest part of the market. Exclusive users will remain a small group of loyal fans willing and able to narrow their choices. Although the non-exclusive make up a sizable segment, the future will be with the ecosystem-dominant.

Methodology

For this analysis, we defined ecosystem exclusivity, dominance, and non-exclusivity as follows:

  • Exclusivity – all of the user’s connected devices, items, services, and voice assistants are in the same operating system family
  • Dominant – more of the user’s devices, items, services, and voice assistants use one ecosystem more than others
  • Non-Exclusive – none of the ecosystems is used more than any others

We drew on the TUP data to identify a broad range of offerings within Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon ecosystems.

  • Connected devices – smartphones, tablets, PCs, or game consoles, using Apple iOS, MacOS, Google ChromeOS, Google Android, Google-branded, or Microsoft Windows
  • Services – Music/Video (Apple Music, Prime Video (in Amazon Prime), Prime Music (in Amazon Prime), Amazon Music Unlimited, Google Play Music)
  • Items – TV set-top boxes (Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google TV/Android TV, Google Nexus Player, Google ChromeCast), speakers (Amazon Echo, Amazon Spot or Dot, Amazon Show, Google Home, Google Max or Mini, Apple HomePod), Game Consoles (Microsoft Xbox One X, Microsoft Xbox One, Microsoft Xbox 360, Microsoft Xbox, Microsoft Other), smartwatches (Apple Watch, Android Watch)
  • Voice assistants – active use of a voice assistant (Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana) through a connected device

The segmentation approach was a simple categorization based on the accumulation of the above attributes. Each device, service, item or voice assistant was given an equal weight.

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This specific wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. In the TUP survey, we identified the connected devices being actively used, from those acquired with home/personal funds to those that are owned by employers, schools, or others. From these, we selected adults who are using at least one home PC.

Resources
Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Consumer research, Demographics & Econographics, Desktops, Game Consoles, Households, Market Research, Market Sizing, Mobile Phones, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Smart speakers, Smartphones, Smartwatches, Tablets, TUP 2018, TUPdate

Digital Feathernesters – it’s not only generational (TUPdate)

Millennials have been getting a bad rap lately, with pundits suggesting that they’re squandering their financial futures on avocado toast or cold brew. While our TUP study doesn’t track café treats, we’re finding robust spending on technology devices and services by millennials. Among millennials, homeowners outspend their home-renting counterparts by far.

Based on our most recent wave of TUP – Technology User Profile 2017 US – millennial homeowners are far more likely than millennial renters to be using an Apple Watch or Google Wear smartwatch. Furthermore, they’re well above all other groups in using tech devices they don’t own – such as an employer-provided mobile phone, e-book reader, or tablet. They stand out for having their nest feathered by entertainment devices such as home projectors and OTT TV devices such as an Amazon Fire TV or Google TV. Also, these digital feathernesters are more likely than average to be protecting their homes with smart locks and video doorbells.

Differences in tech usage by homeownership status is not only about age, since Generation X homeowners are also well above GenX renters. Interestingly, the mix of devices used by GenX homeowners is like those used by Millennial homeowners, although at lower levels.

Millennial homeowners are a substantial market segment, making up nearly one in four connected adults. This group is only slightly larger than the 20% which are GenX homeowners and the 22% which are boomer homeowners. Renters are the smallest share of connected adults in every age group. Among millennials, a higher share are renters than the rate in other age groups, although homeowners still outnumber renters by nearly two to one.

Looking ahead

Millennial feathernesters have impressive plans, with their tech purchase intentions higher than any other age or homeownership group. Their plans which are strongly higher than the plans of other age and homeownership groups span nearly all types of devices: notebooks, tablets, and smartphones.

Homeownership status is less of a factor among GenX. Unlike the pattern among current tech users, GenX homeowners don’t have substantially stronger plans than do GenX renters. And among Baby Boomers, the pattern is slightly reversed. For many tech products, especially the most-mobile devices, a higher share of Boomer renters plan to purchase notebooks, tablets, smartphones, and desktop PCs than do Boomer homeowners.

Notes

For decades, MetaFacts has focused on research technology usage and adoption, and segmented users by a wide variety of sociodemographic and behavioral factors. This helps us support our wide variety of clients, some of who use different segmentation and analysis approaches that change over time. While many of our clients employ proprietary segmentation approaches, others seek to analyze the market using more publicly-available or convenient standards.

Analysis by age is one widely-used view, and often a productive starting point for deeper analysis. In some cases, age is a key component of life stage, reflecting passages such as adulthood or retirement. In other cases, birth year is used to identify a generational group. Segmentation approaches seek to identify groupings of people who as similar to each other as they are different from members of other groups.

For the analysis in this TUPdate, MetaFacts has categorized online adults into the following age groups:

  • Millennial adult (born 1981-1999, age 18-36)
  • Generation X (born 1965-1980, age 37-52)
  • Baby Boomer (born 1946-1964, age 53-71)
  • Silent+Greatest Generation (born 1945 and before, age 72+)

In our standard TUP analysis, we often split Millennials and GenX into younger and older groups, since much of the technology adoption varies within each of these groups.

MetaFacts continues to conduct custom analysis of the groupings that are the most useful with respect to their use and adoption of technology, as well as with respect to broader sociodemographic and behavioral analysis.

We’re also monitoring the ongoing discussion among the research community around the possible name of the next generation following Millennials. In January 2018, a New York Times reader request turned up suggestions such as “memelords”, “iGeneration”, “deltas”, or “Generation Z or GenZ”.

Source

This post includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile survey, from TUP 2017, its 35th consecutive wave, as well as previous waves. Comparable results are available through TUP fielded in Europe and Asia. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

 

 

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Filed under Consumer research, Demographics & Econographics, Market Research, Market Segmentation, Market Sizing, TUP 2017, TUPdate