Mobile gamers and social networkers spend the most time playing games or posting updates during TV prime time — weekdays from 8-10 pm — according to an hour-by-hour analysis of Arbitron Mobile smartphone panelists (www.abitron.com) in the United States during the fourth quarter 2012.
Five functions — –voice calls, messaging, browsing, social networking, and gaming — dominate weekday smartphone use by Arbitron Mobile panelists in the U.S. The average time per hour for each of the five top smartphone functions rises sharply until the 9-10 am hour when messaging, browsing, social networking, and gaming enter a late morning plateau.
The plateau exception: mobile voice calls. Average time per hour continues to increase until noon, when it sags slightly over the lunch break, and then accelerates again to a 5 pm peak. Both mobile social media and mobile gaming see a slow increase in their average time per hour for Arbitron Mobile smartphone panelists starting with the 1 pm and 2 pm hours, respectively.
The late afternoon hours of 4 and 5 mark a significant inflection point for smartphone usage patterns among Arbitron Mobile panelists in the U.S. Starting at 5P pm, the average time per hour for voice calling falls off sharply. At the same time, average time per hour for mobile gaming and social networking begins a sharp acceleration toward their respective peak hours of 9 pm.
Messaging begins a slow decline at 4 pm that continues until 9 pm. It then begins a sharper decline in average time per hour that goes on into the after midnight hours.
The end of the workday exception: mobile browsing, which maintains a consistent average time per hour from 10 am through 10 pm. As prime time wanes, browsing then declines at a slightly lower rate than other top smartphone activities.
Mobile gaming and social media activities accelerate between 5 pm and 6 pm to their hourly peaks in TV prime time. Around 10 pm, the average time per hour for gaming and social networking begins a steep decline that continues into the early morning, when the workday-based cycle begins again.