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Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) now report that they are Facebook users, and roughly three-quarters of those users access Facebook on a daily basis. With the exception of those 65 and older, a majority of Americans across a wide range of demographic groups now use Facebook.

  • Social networks appeal to diverse demographics:
    • Facebook popular across a diverse mix
    • Pinterest appeals to females – women nearly twice as likely as men to be users
    • LinkedIn popular among college grads, Internet users in higher-income homes
    • Twitter and Instagram once showed substantial overlap in user bases, and holding particular appeal to certain age groups but that is no longer the case:
      • Instagram - 64% A18-29 vs. Twitter 40%
      • Instagram - 40% A30-49 vs. Twitter 27%
      • Urban dwellers - 42% Instagram vs. 29% Twitter

(Source: Pew Research Center, Social Media Fact Sheet, 2018)

The World Wide Web turned 30 on March 12, 2019.  In this relatively short period of time, "going online" has become an integral part of many Americans' daily lives – at work, at home, and at leisure.  We now have a generation of consumers who never know life without being online, and even older segments of the population have incorporated the Internet into their routines.

From the PC as geek "toy", desktops, laptops, mobile phones and tablets have evolved into essential tools.  Consumers routinely seek out audio and editorial content online.  Ever-faster connections have led to the rise of online as a primary vehicle for video entertainment – to the point where the computer and mobile devices are now referred to as "second" and "third screens" respectively.

The Internet grew rapidly since its invention and in more recent years has been accompanied by the rise of mobile connectivity:

  • An estimated 86.5% of A18+ are using the internet in the U.S. as of 2019
  • Share of adults in the U.S. who used the internet in 2018 by age:
    • 18-29: 98%
    • 30-49: 97%
    • 50-64: 87%
    • 65+: 66%

(Source: Statista; Statista DMO 2018)

Adult ownership of cell phones has also soared:

  • Cell phone penetration
    • 73% penetration in first survey in 2006
    • 95% in 2018
  • Smartphone ownership
    • 35% in first survey in 2011
    • 77% in 2018
  • In 2018, 89% of Adults 18+ use the internet, which accounts for roughly nine-in-ten adults using the internet.

(Source: Pew Research Center Mobile Fact Sheet, 2018)

  • In 2019 – an estimated 237MM people 12+ own a smartphone
  • An estimated 150MM people 12+ own a tablet in 2019

(Source: The Infinite Dial 2019 - Edison Research/Triton Digital)

  • Consumers look at their phones an average of 52 times a day, totaling 14B looks per day
  • Top 5 ways consumers use their smartphone:
    • 93% - Text
    • 87% - Phone
    • 82% - Email
    • 71% - Social
  • Smartphones are the preferred device for the following:
    • News
    • Photos
    • Social Media
    • Watching Short Videos
    • Video Calls
    • Banking
  • 84% of working adults use their personal phones during working hours while 70% of consumers use their phones outside of work.
  • Mobile payment use has stabilized among consumers as they are trust making payments on their smartphones.

(Source: Deloitte; Global Consumer Survey, 2018)

Social media use plays a big part in American lives today

  • An estimated 223MM people 12+ are currently using social media in 2019
    • There are an estimated 15MM fewer Facebook users today than in 2017
  • 2019 Social Media Brand Usage among A12-34:
    • Facebook – 62%
    • Instagram – 66%
    • Twitter – 29%
    • Snapchat – 62%
    • Pinterest – 31%
    • LinkedIn – 21%
    • WhatsApp – 23%

(Source: The Infinite Dial 2019 - Edison Research/Triton Digital)

According to Pew Research Center:

  • 69% of the American public uses some type of social media
  • 73% of internet users use YouTube
  • 68% of internet users use Facebook
  • 35% of internet users use Instagram
  • 24% of internet users use Twitter
  • Social users are highly engaged
  • Most of social users visit sites at least once a day
  • 74% of Facebook users visit the site daily
  • 60% of Instagram users visit the site daily
  • 46% of Twitter users visit the site daily

Penetration of the 5 most popular social media sites among online adults; all grew, 2018 vs. 2012

  • Facebook – 57% > 68%
  • Instagram – 11% > 35%
  • Pinterest – 13% > 29%
  • LinkedIn – N/A > 35%
  • Twitter – 13% > 24%

(Source: Pew Research Center, Social Media Fact Sheet, 2018)

As online populations continue to grow, and time spent with digital media, marketers are diverting more of their ad budgets to online, with digital advertising becoming the #1 media category. 

  • Total mobile ad revenues continued to grow, increasing its share of internet advertising revenue to 62.5% in the first half of 2018.
    • Desktop-$9.6B
    • Mobile-$16B
    • Total Search-$25.6B

(Source: IAB/PwC Internet Ad Revenue Report, HY 2018)

While many digital media users are advertising adverse compared to traditional media users, they are likely to utilize devices and online sources – including advertising – to help plan purchases and compare prices among retailers.

Total digital advertising revenue continues to grow year over year:

Digital advertising in the U.S. soared to about $50B in the first half of 2018. This represents a 23% YOY increase from the first half of 2017. 

(Source: IAB, Internet Advertising Revenue Reports, 2018)

  • Share of adults in the U.S. who used the internet by educational background:
    • 65% - Less than HS
    • 84% - HS graduate
    • 93% - Some college
    • 97% - College +

(Source: Statista; Pew Research Center Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet, 2018)

For additional information/insights on Digital (Internet/Mobile/Social Media)

IAB  (Interactive Advertising Bureau)
http://www.iab.net

Borrell Associates, Inc.
https://www.borrellassociates.com

comScore, Inc.
http://www.comscore.com

eMarketer
http://www.emarketer.com

Nielsen
http://www.nielsen.com

Pew Research Internet Project
http://www.pewinternet.org

Smartphone owners by age:

  • A18-29: 94%
  • A30-49: 89%
  • A50-64: 73%
  • A65+: 46%

20% of US adults are smartphone only internet users.

(Source: Pew Research Center Mobile Fact Sheet - Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet 2018)


Can track consumer behavior and purchases
Trackable:  Electronic measurement is very precise.  Advertisers can track which PC was "exposed," which clicked through an ad, and what else they were exposed to during an online session.  The internet is unique among all media in affording follow-through sales response.  Technology now allows specific ad messages to follow users from site to site
Mimics TV:  Digital sellers are increasingly offering daypart, day-of-week, cost-per-click and GRP-based advertising models, beyond direct response tonnage buys of early days.  Additionally, TV-style commercial advertising units are increasingly available, extending exposure and awareness of creative.  CPM modules and Reach/Frequency data is extending into the marketplace
Bigger screens on phones provide more ad space
Speedier operating systems improve the ad environment
Targeted:  Most Web sites are highly appealing to specific demographics, mindsets, consumer interests, etc.  Keyword buys can even more precisely target narrow, specific audiences. Site-based media buys can:
  • Offer ideal environment and timing to generate results
  • Frequently provide ad recall, impact/sales lift indicators not offered by other media
  • Often allow product category exclusivity in exchange for sponsorships
  • Offer synergistic point-of-sale and other promotional tie-ins
Enables geo-targeting of consumers in the vicinity of a business
Can drive consumers directly to a Web site
Engagement:  Consumers are active participants in two-way interaction with both content and advertising online
Users are already online, easily directed to an advertiser's website
Flexible and Unique: An advertiser can put up a mass-appeal direct-response ad or a slick, produced video – and, unlike TV, online video ad lengths are flexible and not required to fit into commercial pods
Video ads increasingly available as smartphone use increases
Cost Efficient:  Inexpensive to buy compared to traditional electronic and print media
Consumers are attuned to interacting with their mobile device, will do so with advertising delivered on them -- nothing is more personal and connected to modern consumers than their mobile devices
Connectivity has become a lifestyle for the American consumer,  Increasing availability of quality information, entertainment, audio, and video content keep users coming back for more, expanding opportunities for online advertisers to connect with them at all hours of the day or night
Messaging reaches the consumer immediately and can be delivered at the point of purchase

In 2018 about 20% of US adults who do not use broadband at home own smartphones.
(Source: Pew Research Center, Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet 2018)
Advertising is regarded as intrusive by consumers
Fragmented Audience:  The numerous TV channels available and large number of radio stations available to consumers in any given market are miniscule compared to the number of sites available to online audiences
Buying Challenges:
  • Selling practices vary widely, including scheduling patterns, post-buy analysis
  • Budgeting:  Must determine whether online placement is an advertisement or a promotional budget item.
  • Cost:  CPMs are relatively high for ads that are intrusive or highly-targeted.
  • Special creative may be required to maximize impact
Size of ads and length of messages is still limited by size of screen, bandwidth
Accidental click-thru by the consumer will increase the cost of the ad to the marketer but don't expose the consumer to the message
Exposure:  Consumer connection with content and placement varies widely from site to site
Measurement and Accountability:  Research across the industry is still nascent and many sites and services employ unconventional and/or unreliable metrics to define audience and impact.  Additionally, while it's a given that online ads have the ability to motivate consumers, proving efficiency remains elusive.  Concern has grown across the industry in recent years regarding fraudulent measurement and reporting of consumer exposures to advertising
Advertising Aversion:  Online ads such as pop-ups, banners are viewed by many consumers as too intrusive.  Blockers and other forms of avoidance are a problem for advertisers
Fraud:  With measurement minimal or lacking altogether, the digital industry must confront controversy regarding criminal activity surrounding ads, and whether actual consumers or "bots" have actually accessed ads online
Do Not Track Law:  It is illegal for advertisers, retailers, etc., to track consumers' movements across the Internet
Privacy issues:  In addition to the legality of the practice, consumers are not receptive to online advertisers, retailers, etc., tracking them.  Many find ads following them across sites to be "creepy" or offensive, even "evil."
Mobile Disadvantages: 
  • 60% of 18-24-year-olds and nearly 40% of all consumers say they use their phones too much.
  • 63% of consumers are trying to limit their smart phone usage
  • According to a study by Deloitte, consumer say the top two reasons for not using mobile payments are:
    • 42% say because of security concerns
    • 42% say because lack of clean benefits
  • Consumers are also concerned about their personal data:
    • 86% believe companies use their personal data
    • 80% believe companies share their personal data
(Source: Deloitte; Global Consumer Survey, 2018)
Mobile Disadvantages: 
  • Reasons why consumers dislike online and mobile ads:
    • 51% of Americans believe websites should cut down on ads
    • 57% dislike that the pop-up ads are obstructing the content they're viewing
    • 50% are annoyed that the ad takes up the whole screen
(Source: IAB/PwC Internet Ad Revenue Report, HY 2018)
Lack of Reach:  Internet use among the U.S. population is still limited as only 9 in 10 adults use the internet. Therefore a segment of the population will not be reached by internet/mobile/or socials media ads. 
(Source: Pew Research Center, Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet 2018)
As the adoption of traditional broadband service has slowed in recent years, a growing share of Americans now use smartphones as their primary means of online access at home. Today one-in-five American adults are "smartphone-only" internet users – meaning they own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband service.

Immediacy:  Advertising messages on both radio and the Internet reach consumers immediately.  Radio ads reach many listeners at a single time, while online ads present themselves when the user decides to log on to the ‘Net.  Exposure to advertising on both is complementary and will reach consumers at times when they might not have access to one medium or the other
Increase Reach:  With a variety of formats in every market and national networks also delivering programming directed to specific demographic or interest groups, Radio allows advertisers to zero in on large numbers of consumers in the age demographics and socio-economic characteristics they need to reach to successfully market their products and services. While Web sites also deliver niche markets, many are small and users are not all on the site at the same time.  Radio supplements the somewhat narrower reach of most Web sites, resulting in effective exposure across platforms.
Timing:  Radio spots air at certain specified times designated by the advertiser.  Digital advertising's timing is more random, reaching the consumer at whatever point they log on to devices.  Each has the capability to remind consumers of the other and reinforce messaging impact
Cut through the clutter:  Radio has done an effective job of cutting down on commercial spot loads in recent years, whereas the burgeoning popularity of the Internet among marketers has created a cluttered environment online.  A campaign on radio will showcase the advertiser's message and can direct listeners to a site
Build Trust:  Radio represents a trusted source for information and entertainment among consumers; many Americans continue to exercise caution in using the Internet and believing what they read or hear online.  Radio adds credibility to an Internet-radio campaign mix
Enhance Recall:  When radio is combined with Internet advertising, it can increase brand recall and help drive awareness
For more information on radio:
Glossary:  http://www.rab.com/public/reports/buysellterms.pdf
FAQs:  http://www.rab.com/whyradio/faq.cfm
Statistics and Trends:  http://www.rab.com/whyradio/


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