knowledge centre

Consumer smartphone usage 2014: OTT communication services

Stephen Sale Research Director, Consumer Services
Martin Scott Principal Analyst, Research

Leading messaging app WhatsApp Messenger has a very high daily average usage (18.3 minutes), higher than Facebook’s industry benchmark (18.1 minutes and a penetration of 78%).

In some countries, IP messaging services are rivalling social networking services in terms of penetration with a potentially dramatic impact on legacy messaging services. European observers have witnessed strong adoption curves for WhatsApp Messenger in Spain and the Netherlands, and now in Germany, where 90% of our panellists used it. 

This report analyses the smartphone usage of consumers in France, Germany, the UK and the USA between mid-August and the end of October 2013. The analysis is based on data provided by Nielsen, using an on-device monitoring app developed by Arbitron Mobile. The report focuses specifically on the use of IP communication services and their relationship with traditional voice and messaging services. The main objective of the report is to understand how smartphones are changing communication habits.

It answers the following key questions and provides recommendations for operators and vendors.

  • How is the relationship between consumers and smartphones evolving with respect to core communication features?
  • How significant is the substitution effect of IP messaging and VoIP services on traditional voice and messaging?
  • What demographic factors account for the significant difference between IP messaging take-up in different countries?

The event-level data allows us to produce in-depth analysis of information including:

  • foreground app usage (‘face time’)
  • data traffic (cellular and Wi-Fi)
  • location (home, away and travelling)
  • voice and SMS usage.

Geographical coverage

Data is provided for the following individual countries:

  • France
  • Germany
  • UK
  • USA.

Company coverage

The following companies are mentioned in this report.

  • Apple
  • AT&T
  • Bouygues
  • BT
  • EE
  • E-Plus
  • Facebook
  • Free Mobile
  • Google
  • Kik
  • LINE
  • Orange
  • Samsung
  • SFR
  • Skype
  • Snapchat
  • Tango
  • Telefónica (O2)
  • Three
  • T-Mobile
  • Twitter
  • Verizon
  • Viber
  • Vodafone
  • WeChat
  • WhatsApp
  • Yahoo!