The rapid rise of Internet adoption in the United States has peaked, a trend that has implications for marketers who have shifted their budgets to interactive from print.
One in five American adults does not use the Internet, according to the Pew Internet Project, which interviewed 2,260 adults age 18 and older in English and Spanish, by landline and cell phone, in July and August of 2011.
Internet adoption among U.S. adults increased rapidly from the mid-’90s to about 2005. That means adoption topped out at least a year before the advent of the Great Recession. Since then, the number of adult Internet users has remained stable at around 75 to 80%. The Pew Internet & American Life Project’s latest poll shows that this trend continued in 2011.
Here are the major findings:
- Senior citizens, those who prefer to take interviews in Spanish rather than English, adults with less than a high school education and those living in households earning less than $30,000 per year are the least likely adults to have Internet access.
- Among adults who do not use the Internet, almost half said the main reason they don’t go online is because they don’t think the Internet is relevant to them. Most have never used the Internet before and don’t have anyone in their household who does.
- The 27% of adults living with disability in the United States today are significantly less likely than adults without a disability to go online (54% vs. 81%). That’s a small number, thought. Pew found that only 2% of adults have a disability or illness that makes it more difficult or impossible for them to use the internet at all.
While Internet use has reached saturation among most residents, another trend—the move toward mobile computing—may counteract the former. Pew reports that 88% of American adults have a cell phone, 57% have a laptop, 19% own an e-book reader and 19% have a tablet computer. About six in ten adults (63%) go online wirelessly with one of those devices.
For marketers, that means a deeper dive into data on those subgroups.
Drill, baby, drill.
The share of adults in the United States who own tablet computers nearly doubled over the holiday selling season, according to a new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
Ownership of tablet computers increased from 10% to 19% between mid-December and early January. The same surge in growth applied to e-book readers, which also jumped from 10% to 19% over the same time period.
The number of Americans owning at least one of these digital reading devices jumped from 18% in December to 29% in January.
The Pew Center says the findings are striking “because they come after a period from mid-2011 into the autumn in which there was not much change in the ownership of tablets and e-book readers. However, as the holiday gift-giving season approached, the marketplace for both devices dramatically shifted.”
Pew attributes some of that adoption to the introduction of relatively cheaper versions of Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet. In the e-book reader world some versions of the Kindle and Nook and other readers fell below $100.
The results come from ongoing surveys by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project aimed at tracking growth in the ownership of both devices. A pre-holiday survey was conducted among 2,986 people age 16 and older between November 16 and December 21, 2011 and has a margin of error of +/- two percentage points.
The post-holiday data come from the combined results of two surveys – one conducted January 5-8 among 1,000 adults age 18 and older and another conducted January 12-15 of 1,008 adults. The combined surveys have a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points.
More Americans own e-book readers than tablet computers, according to a new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
Last year tablets like the iPad had a slight lead over e-readers such as Kindle and Nook. But by May of this year, 12% of U.S. adults said they own an e-reader while 8% own a tablet computer.
“The percent of U.S. adults with an e-book reader doubled from 6% to 12% between November 2010 and May 2011,” Pew reports. “Hispanic adults, adults younger than age 65, college graduates and those living in households with incomes of at least $75,000 are most likely to own e-book readers. Parents are also more likely than non-parents to own these devices.”
Owning one doesn’t mean you can’t own the other. The survey noted an overlap in ownership, with 3% of U.S. adults owning both devices. Nine percent own an e-book reader but not a tablet while 5% own a tablet computer but not an e-reader.