Smartphone advertising

This is not what we want to see on our beloved devices. But TV commercials? That’s OK.
Credit: Thinkstock

Remember back when one of the first things we did in the mornings was turn on the TV?

That’s no longer the case for most people, according to a new study from Millward Brown, which indicated that time spent on mobile devices is now outpacing television usage in the U.S.

The firm surveyed more than 12,000 mobile users — polling consumption of ads on televisions, laptops, smartphones and tablets — and found that Americans are now spending 151 minutes per day on their smartphones, next to 147 minutes per day in front of their TVs.

The findings also reported that, while the smartphone is emerging as the primary device being used, consumers have begun to watch multiple screens simultaneously.

Before you cancel your TV advertising spots just yet though, the study also found that marketing on these devices is not exactly catching up in the U.S. Despite the rise in mobile usage in America, spending via ads on these devices reached just $18.9 billion, well short of the approximate $70 billion business television advertising brings in.

The study suggested that advertisers were perhaps falling short of being able to produce consistent, relevant video content for phones, with users complaining that ads on their phone felt more like an interruption.