It’s Mothers’ day on Sunday so this week UKOM is taking a quick look at mums’ behaviour online. UKOM has often cited how smartphones account for the majority share of females’ time online but how does having children at home also impact platform usage? By comparing share of minutes for females aged 25-54 with and without kids at home, it appears living with children is a contributing factor in platform choice. 

The smartphone accounts for 59% of minutes for mums* aged 25-54, compared to only 48% for nonmums in the same age group according to UKOM approved Comscore data for January 2017. When looking at the corresponding data for males, it’s clearly not just age and gender which is impacting the time spent on different devices. Over half of dads’ time online (52%) is spent on smartphones compared to only 42% for non-dads of the same age. This suggests that there is a relationship between platform usage and having kids at home. 

There can be many hypotheses as to why the smartphone is such an important device for parents – lack of time is likely to be one major factor - smartphone sessions are shorter with snacking more prevalent and mobile devices allow for easier multi-tasking. Not wishing to assume stereotypes, UKOM data can’t determine all motivations for platform use but it can reveal differences in online activities between parents and non-parents on different platforms. Let’s focus our attention back to mums and their use of smartphones. It will come as no surprise to learn that some of the biggest differences between mums and non-mums when looking at audience reach on smartphones are for the following categories: kids (+13 %pts), family & parenting (+13pts) toy retailing (+ 11 pts) and Insights education (+9pts). However, when looking at average time spent & the difference having kids in the household makes, less obvious categories appear. The top 5 categories for time online on smartphones among females aged 25-54 with kids at home are social media, entertainment, games, news/Information and retail. Although these are the same top 5 categories for females 25-54 without kids, there is a big difference in the numbers. 

Compared to non-mums of the same age, mums spend over two hours per month more (+141 mins) on social media sites on their smartphones and conversely over two hours less on news and information sites (-136 mins). Digging deeper at a brand level, it appears that mums spend a lot less time on BBC sites than non-mums and a lot more time on Facebook. As well as social media, mums spend on average nearly two hours longer per month consuming entertainment content on smartphones (+113 mins). Exploring this at a brand level, mums spend more time listening to Spotify (+70 mins) and using Youtube (+108 mins) on their smartphones than non-mums of the same age.

Notes on Data:

All data is based on UKOM industry standard and development level approved Comscore MMX Multi-Platform data based on adults 25-54 for January 2017. Comscore MMX Multi-Platform includes desktop browsing, desktop video streams, smartphone browsing & apps (on-network only for untagged apps), tablet browsing & apps for tagged sites & apps.

*For this analysis, mums and dads have been defined as 25-54 females and 25-54 males with kids in the household and nonmums and dads are defined as 25-54 females and males without kids in the household. 

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