People spend more time on their phones than ever before, 5 hours per day according to The more interesting question for advertisers is, where and how are those 5 hours spent? We ran a survey using our proprietary market research solution to discover how users spend time on their mobile phones in 2023. 

It’s clear that users spend a lot of their time on their phones in games. In fact, 70% of users enjoy playing games the most compared to other mobile activities, 73% of users are playing games while watching TV, and the most amount of users (30%) check their games last before going to bed. 

Here are insights into how users are mobile gaming and more key findings about how users spend time on their phones:

1. Out of all the activities they can do on their phones, the majority of users (70%) enjoy playing games the most 

70% of users like playing games on their phones, 55% like scrolling through social media, 46% like texting and calling friends and family, 28% like reading the news, and 25% like answering emails. Despite the nearly endless list of activities today, the majority of users still place mobile gaming at the top every time - it's a timeless activity.

Learn more about why mobile games are a premium video advertising channel. 

Takeaway: Mobile gaming is a crowd pleaser, making it the best medium to reach users at scale.

2. Users spend the most phone time on the weekends (56%), with Gen Z the most likely to do so (64%) 

Naturally, users are likely to spend more time on their phones when they have free time, such as the weekends. That said, 44% of users say they spend more time on their phones on the weekday, which isn’t that much less. Schools often don’t allow phone usage, which is a key reason why Gen Z is likely to be more active on the weekends. 

3. Users spend the most time on their phones in the evening (37%) 

The evening is often a time for users to wind down from the work day and catch up with what’s been happening on their phones - checking the news, responding to texts, scrolling through feeds. Users spend the least amount of time on their phones in the morning, with only 14% indicating such. 

While this trend is consistent across Millennials, Gen X and females, Gen Z and males are the most active on their phones during the afternoon (35% and 34%) and evening (35% and 35%). For Gen Z, this is likely because they turn to their devices as soon as school gets out.

Takeaway: Reach users when they’re most free, which is often at different times based on the user’s age and gender.

4. Most users spend time on their phones while watching TV (71%)

The average attention span of a human is 8.25 seconds, .75 seconds lower than a gold fish’s, which is why users are beginning to engage with two devices at once. This presents a strong opportunity for performance based CTV advertising - when users see an ad on their TV, they can immediately download your app or look up your product from their phones, without having to remember to do it later. 

Learn more about CTV advertising. 

Takeaway: Users are often on two screens at once - advertise on one to encourage downloads on another.

5. Users are most likely to be gaming while watching TV (73%)

Across all demographics, users who spend time on their phones while watching TV are most likely playing games (73%), followed by scrolling through social apps (59%). Users are gaming from their phones at all times, even when they’re engaging with other devices, further reaffirming the opportunity for advertising on these channels. 

Learn more about the perceptions (and misconceptions) about mobile gamers.

Takeaway: Users are always gaming, making games great advertising supply.

6. The first apps users check in the morning are text messaging apps (32%)

In total, users check their texts, followed by social apps (26%) and email (22%). Gen Z and Millennials follow this trend closely. Gen X, however, checks email first (31%), followed by texts (25%), social (21%) and games (21%). Priorities in the morning often differ based on responsibilities for the day and how much time users have to get ready. 

7. Games are the last apps users check before going to bed (30%) 

30% of users check their games last, 28% of users check social media last and 22% check their texts last. This means that users go to sleep with mobile gaming on their mind above anything else, indicating the value mobile gaming holds to those who play. 

Takeaway: Advertise in games to be the last thing users see before going to bed.

We use our phones a lot, but, until now, did we really understand how? The above stats give you a clearer picture of how and where our time on our phones is spent.

Get started advertising in games. 

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