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How Prospective Residents Use Their Smartphones

See what types of apps and functions your potential renters are using on their smartphones, based on age, to better target them.

Smartphones are changing the ways in which people access information and view entertainment. In just three years, the percent of people who have watched TV or movies on their phones through a paid service has more than doubled, from 15 percent in 2012 to 33 percent in 2015.

Getting directions on phones has increased, and accessing information has as well, jumping from 74 percent to 90 percent between 2013 and 2015. And services such as Pandora and Spotify also are becoming more popular, with 67 percent of smartphone users now accessing music through an online service (up from 53 percent in 2012).

Some of these functions vary by age, Pew Research Center notes. For example, most age groups use their smartphones to access some form of information, but young adults (ages 18-29) are more than twice as likely as older adults (50+) to participate in a video call or chat. And very few baby boomers are likely to watch TV or movies on their smartphones, while one-third of adults ages 30-49 and more than half of millennials do.

Target demographics and smartphone use should play a role in mobile advertising strategy. Although ad blockers have been introduced, mobile advertising is still a valuable tool that marketers are increasingly investing in. For example, video ads that provide entertainment have proved effective and may work best for younger renters who are already viewing ample video content on their smartphones. And sports or productivity apps may provide more in-app opportunities to target older demographics.