Friday, May 8th, 2015 - Roy Morgan Research

Just about all Australia’s 3.9million mothers have a mobile phone (97%), and 3million (77%) have a smartphone. Last year, Roy Morgan Research surveyed almost 2000 smartphone-owning women with kids at home to find out what they use them for (the phones, not the kids).  

Comparing them with the average Australian smartphone owner (14+), we found which activities mums are more likely to be doing via smartphone—and it’s often those that may only require a spare second or two before the next inevitable interruption.

Mums are 66% more likely to use the phone to enter competitions online and 54% more likely to read online catalogues in a four-week period. Mothers are also much more likely than average to look up health or medical information (49% more likely), participate in online auctions (43% more likely) or play games online (42% more likely). They are also slightly more likely than the norm to use their smartphones to upload photos (16% more likely) or do social networking (13% more likely).

However mothers are far less likely than the norm to do online mobile entertainment activities (that may perhaps require some uninterrupted down-time). They are 47% less likely than the average to download podcasts on their smartphone, 32% less likely to stream video, 27% less likely to access news, 24% less likely to stream music and 14% less likely to stream radio.  

Smartphone activities mums are more or less likely to do in average four weeks

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, January 2014 –December 2014, samples n= 1,973 women who own a smartphone and have children in the home, compared with total sample n = 8,841 Australians 14+ who own a smartphone.

Unlike mothers, however, it seems men with kids in the home are still able to find time to use their smartphones for entertainment purposes: dads are actually 28% more likely than the average smartphone owner to access news, 26%more likely to stream radio, 15% more likely to download podcasts, and 3% more likely to stream music within a four week period.

Tim Martin, General Manager - Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Often time-poor and on-the-go, it seems mothers don't use their smartphones for personal entertainment as much as others. They are less likely than the norm—and even less likely again when compared with dads—to download podcasts, access news, or stream music, radio or video.

“The one difference is in regards to playing games online, which mothers with smartphones are 42% more likely to do in an average four weeks  than the general smartphone-owning population.

“Digital advertisers need to be aware that this valuable target market may not be as reachable via mobile as growing overall audience numbers suggest, and better targeting would maximise advertising ROI.” 

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Roy Morgan Research


Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332
W: www.roymorgan.com

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mothers mobile phones

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