Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

And Now a Word From Our Sponsors: Please Don’t Pick Up Your iPhone!

Sure, your mobile phone is mobile. But you’re quite likely to be using it at home.

We’ve been seeing evidence that a whole lot of smartphone and tablet usage doesn’t happen on the go, and here’s yet another data point, via ad network Tremor Video.

This chart shows mobile “ad calls,” which we can use as a rough proxy for mobile Web usage, for three different Tuesdays across June and July. You can see that it peaks in late afternoon, presumably as we’re making post-work or post-school plans, and then again during TV’s primetime.

Which again, syncs with what we’ve been hearing for a while. But if you take a closer look at the way people use their iPhones and Androids during primetime, the data gets even more interesting.

This breakout chart plots ad calls (the red line) against the times that TV ads are airing (the blue lines), and paints a telling picture: People put their phones down at the top of the hour, when new shows start. And as soon as ads come on, they pick up their gadgets again. (Click image to enlarge.)

And yes, Tremor’s takeaway here — people are tuning out TV ads in favor of the Web — is a self-serving one for a Web ad network to tout. But it certainly seems plausible.


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”