Smartphone Ownership is WAY Up. What Does This Mean for Music?

Back in 2008, I gave a talk at an AdWeek conference in New York where I spoke of the coming critical mass of smartphone connectivity. At the time, I think fewer than 30% of us had smartphones. But the adoption rate was massive.

“When enough people have smartphones in their hands, we’re going to see consumer behaviors that we never, ever expected,” I said.  Well, the era of critical mass is here.

According to a new Pew Research poll (via RAIN), 85% of American between the ages of 18 and 29 have some kind of smartphone. That’s followed closely by those 30 to 49 at 79%. That’s a lot of always-on Internet-connected computing power in the hands of an awful lot of people.

So how are people using their devices? Could we have predicted the following?

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That the younger demo group uses their smartphones for music should come as no surprise. But even a fifth of the Luddite-prone 50+ demo are into that same headspace. The average usage across all groups was 41%. See why streaming is taking off?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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