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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

TV Boxes and Sticks – The Scrum (MetaFAQs)

TV or not TV, is n0t the question.

TV is alive and well enough, although being viewed in many different ways than before.

In the battle for eyeballs on the largest and multiple screens throughout American households, more than one over-the-top box or stick has made inroads. These devices are being actively used by 31% of Connected Adults. Also, most viewers use more than one, with the average number in active use being 1.4.

In a bid for dominance, Apple has recently released its revision to its Apple TV, in an app that allows discovery and watching of content through Apple TV, iPhones or iPads.

One first question that may be asked – Who’s leading the market?mqxxxx-tv-2016-10-28_12-52-29

Roku can make that claim, with one in eight (12%) of connected adults using any of their various Roku boxes or sticks.

However, with the average number in active use being 1.4, a great deal of users have more than one.

As in any competitive scrum, a next question is the position of the other major entrants. Google, with it’s various entries of Google TV, and Nexus has the #2 overall position, and is also #2 behind viewers with Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and ASUS Cube.

So, while at first glance Apple’s announcement might be about Apple extending its integration of content that can be enjoyed across Apple devices, there’s more to this. This move is also about Apple strengthening its position against Google in the quest for broader market leadership.

This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active TV viewers, and the devices they use to watch.

Many other related answers are part of the full TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP chapter with the most information about TV viewers across all devices and platforms is the TUP 2016 Consumer Electronics Chapter.

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 a complimentary subscription to insights from MetaFacts, simply make a request. For corporate marketers interested in paid access to the full results, analysis, and datasets, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Devices, Entertainment, MetaFAQs, TUP 2016

Internet – solid market research from MetaFacts Technology User Profile

Extensive information about the internet and the ways people use it is available in TUP – Technology User Profile.

Not all access to the Internet is equal and consumers know it – voting with their fingers. In today’s multi-platform age, computers are not the only way online, and email may be losing ground as the king of activities.  Are fun, compelling, and emerging technologies making PCs a thing of the past?  Is social networking replacing snailish email?

Below are a few examples of questions addressed in TUP related to internet use. The full TUP service enables drilling down beyond the answers to these questions to identify which other technologies, services and behaviors are disruptive and to profile which market segments are and aren’t adopting. TUP is much more than a one-dimensional market view or opinion piece, since it provides a comprehensive source to answer the following questions, as well as many others.

  • What is the mix of communication products and services – landline, wireless, email, IM, etc. – by segment?
  • Most-mobile customers – where do they go and what do they do?
  • Which segments are keeping their files, calendars, or other information synchronized or backed up online?
  • Which market segments are dating online? What else do they frequently do online?
  • Are PC users primarily accessing the Internet at home, in the workplace, using friends or neighbor’s computers, or in public places such as libraries or cybercafés? Which users use other’s PCs and which have many to choose from? Are smartphones or netbooks changing this?
  • How many and which segments are watching and renting movies on which platforms?
  • What do users sync or “store” in the cloud? How do users share images – social networking sites or photo-specific sites? Which users are the most active?
  • Who’s busiest – desktop users or notebook users? How do their profiles differ?
  • How has the division of work vs. personal use of technology products continued to blur?
  • Which segments are utilizing cloud storage or sharing services? For which activities?
  • To what extent does game-playing drive online usage specifically and tech usage overall?
  • Tech adoption cycles may not be as fast as the tech-focused think. How many and which users still use older tech products?
  • What about the unemployed? Are they more or are they less tech-focused?
  • Who is using mobile payments?
  • Who is videoconferencing, and using which platform?
  • Which segments are the most music-intensive? What is the overlap of music-centered products and services by segment?
  • Primacy – what is the center of the user’s world? Their home PC, work PC, mobile phone? Is it one device or many?
  • What is the impact on privacy concerns on use of social networking?
  • Who are the true early adopters and laggards? How does this vary by actual usage of specific products and technologies?
  • What do most people do with their mobile phone as compared to their PC? Which user segments align with which platforms?
  • How much have PC users integrated PCs into their personal lives?
  • What about the anti-social – those that aren’t in an online social network? Who are they? In what other ways are they actively communicating and having fun? How does their spending profile compare?
  • How many screens do people view? Which market segments view more screens than other segments?
  • How prominent is printing images from mobile phones? How about from tablets?
  • Which market segments are blogging? How do they compare to social networkers?
  • Which segments are using which tech devices & carriers? For which activities?
  • Is the smartphone killing PC shopping?
  • How PC/Online & Mobile Phone activities compare? How is this different for Tablets or eBook Readers? Which segments use which device for the most activities?
  • Multitasking – who’s using many devices for many activities, versus few devices for many activities? How do user segments vary by quadrant?
  • What makes a smartphone a smartphone in the consumer’s eyes? How does usage compare to basic mobile phones? What are the user segments and usage profiles?
  • How many people use calendars on their PC, their mobile phone, or both? Which types of people are these?
  • What is the tech-owning profile of active gamers? Many consumer electronics entertainment products or focused on gaming? Many computers or few? How does this vary by segment?
  • What is the status of mobile phone transition, from basic feature phones to smartphones and non-users?
  • How many seniors are online? How is their behavior different than younger online users?
  • Who spends the most hours online?
  • How does the life and lifespan of a PC vary by form factor? Does it vary by brand? By user segment?
  • How does PC and online usage vary across segments such as workplace company size or industry?
  • Entertainment primacy – what is the center of the user’s home entertainment world? Is it one device or many? Which devices and services, and among which segments?
  • How are users communicating, given all their communication options?
  • Which segments have recently paid for a downloaded mobile phone app?
  • Do mobile PC users print differently than desktop users? Do the more-mobile use more or fewer printers? Do the more-mobile print different content?
  • Who are the people who shop for technology products on the web, but purchase at a local retail outlet?
  • Online shoppers – are they everyone, or unique?
  • How are smartphones challenging or complementing mobile PCs? Which market segments are coalescing around which platforms?
  • What other activities are just outside the box for gamers? Online dating? Social Networking? Music? Movies? Entertainment in general?
  • Age-related market adoption – which products and services are age-skewed? Which are skewed toward older rather than younger users?
  • iPhone users – who are they really? How do they compare with Android and Blackberry users?
  • Is it really one to a customer? How often are PCs shared? Which market segments use more than one PC?
  • How are Facebook users different from users of other Social Networks? Beside demographics, what else distinguishes these from each other?
  • What types and combinations of consumer electronics are homes using?
  • Which combination of tech devices is the most popular today? How large is each segment? Who are in each segment? Which direction are they headed with their buying plans?
  • Is social networking only for certain age groups?
  • Which social networks show the most growth-oriented activity? Which segments show signs of losing interest or withdrawing?
  • What are the attitudes about texting and driving? Who is most supportive and who is mostly opposed?
  • Who are the biggest tech spenders? Which segments spend the most and least for devices? How does spending for tech services differ?
  • How do online shopping activities differ between Hewlett Packard, Apple and Dell customers?
  • Do PC users behave differently as they gain more experience? Are Newbies or Vets mostly focusing on certain activities versus a broad mixture?
  • Who is buying the highest-end PCs? Are there brand differences? What else do users buy and what else do they use?
  • Tracfone for oldsters? Who has the oldest segment by carrier?

If solid answers to any of these questions would help your work in creating the future, please contact MetaFacts.

MetaFacts, Inc. helps technology marketers find and measure their best and future customers.

Current subscribers of Technology User Profile may obtain this information directly from MetaFacts, as well as additional customized drilling down into the full dataset.

For more information on the results delivered in TUP and about how to subscribe, please contact MetaFacts.

The above questions are answered with the TUP 2012 edition, and most are also answered in the TUP 2011 edition for ready trend comparison.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Market Segmentation, MetaFAQs, Statistics, Tech Market, Trends, TUP 2011, TUP 2012

Digital Entertainment – solid market research from MetaFacts Technology User Profile

Extensive information about Digital Entertainment is available in TUP – Technology User Profile.

Technology marketers and researchers know what Johnny Carson pointed out many years ago: “People will pay more to be entertained than educated.”

As fickle consumers continue to change their tastes and preferences, entertainment has been core. In particular, Digital Entertainment has been the closest thing to the fabled silver bullet that will increase market adoption with some products and services becoming hits while others fail and become tech industry footnotes.

Below are a few examples of questions addressed in TUP related to digital entertainment. The full TUP service enables drilling down beyond the answers to these questions to identify which other technologies and services are disruptive and to profile which market segments are and aren’t adopting. TUP is much more than a one-dimensional market view or opinion piece.

  • Which segments are the most music-intensive? What is the overlap of music-centered products and services by segment?
  • How are Facebook users different from users of other Social Networks? Beside demographics, what else distinguishes these from each other?
  • Entertainment primacy – what is the center of the user’s home entertainment world? Is it one device or many? Which devices and services, and among which segments?
  • How much have PC users integrated PCs into their personal lives?
  • Are PC users primarily accessing the Internet at home, in the workplace, using friends or neighbor’s computers, or in public places such as libraries or cybercafés? Which users use other’s PCs and which have many to choose from? Are smartphones or netbooks changing this?
  • How many and which segments are watching and renting movies on which platforms?
  • Do game players bring their gaming with them into the workplace? To what extent? Which market segment does this the most?
  • What other activities are just outside the box for gamers? Online dating? Social Networking? Music? Movies? Entertainment in general?
  • How central is game-playing to the general population? How about within certain key market segments?
  • To what extent does game-playing drive online usage specifically and tech usage overall?
  • How social-network active are the various tiers of gamers?
  • Is social networking only for certain age groups?
  • How many screens do people view? Which market segments view more screens than other segments?
  • How tech-experienced are game-players?
  • What do most people do with their mobile phone as compared to their PC? Which user segments align with which platforms?
  • Which social networking sites are used most frequently by which segments?
  • Who spends the most hours online?
  • Which smartphone OS is leading, and with which market segments?
  • What is the tech-owning profile of active gamers? Many consumer electronics entertainment products or focused on gaming? Many computers or few? How does this vary by segment?
  • Which market segments are blogging? How do they compare to social networkers?
  • What is the status of mobile phone transition, from basic feature phones to smartphones and non-users?
  • What types and combinations of consumer electronics are homes using?
  • Which segments have recently paid for a downloaded mobile phone app?
  • Which market segments are dating online? What else do they frequently do online?
  • Have game-players been the first to adopt new products such as the Apple iPhone? Or, are they generally later adopters?
  • What are the attitudes about texting and driving? Who is most supportive and who is mostly opposed?
  • Which combination of tech devices is the most popular today? How large is each segment? Who are in each segment? Which direction are they headed with their buying plans?
  • What is the impact on privacy concerns on use of social networking?
  • Which social networks show the most growth-oriented activity? Which segments show signs of losing interest or withdrawing?
  • How has the division of work vs. personal use of technology products continued to blur?
  • Who are the biggest tech spenders? Which segments spend the most and least for devices? How does spending for tech services differ?
  • Which market segments interact with their social network using their mobile phone, and which do not? What else stands out about these connected users?
  • Multitasking – who’s using many devices for many activities, versus few devices for many activities? How do user segments vary by quadrant?

If solid answers to any of these questions would help your work in creating the future, please contact MetaFacts.

MetaFacts, Inc. helps technology marketers find and measure their best and future customers.

Current subscribers of the Technology User Profile Global Insights Edition may obtain this information directly from MetaFacts, as well as additional customized drilling down into the full dataset.

For more information on the results delivered in TUP and about how to subscribe, please contact MetaFacts.

The above questions are answered with the TUP 2012 edition, and most are also answered in the TUP 2011 edition for ready trend comparison.

Leave a comment

Filed under Consumer research, Households, Market Research, MetaFAQs, TUP 2011, TUP 2012