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Who's Using Video Calling? New Study Breaks it Down

September 28, 2015

Video calling has made more than its share of inroads with users, particularly in recent months and a new study from GfK MRI sought to tell us more about who's actually putting this new technology to work.

The market for video calling, as the GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer study revealed, is actually quite substantial. For those adults who own a mobile phone, e-reader or tablet, almost one in four—23 percent—took part in a video call in the last 30 days. The number actually measures, reports note, around 43.1 million adults who made such a call. Most of these—85 percent—did so with a mobile phone, while a reported 23 percent turned to a tablet or e-reader.

The demographics, meanwhile, are where things get interesting. Better than half—54 percent—were female, and 59 percent ranged in age from 19 to 38, making video calling very much a tool for the Millennial generation. Just over half at 53 percent have a child under the age of 18 in the household, and around 37 percent are living in a household where at least $100,000 or more is made annually. Indeed, the numbers of video callers goes up as income goes up; those earning at least $250,000 are 59 percent more likely to be using video calling systems.

Even education is something of a factor. Video calling system users are 30 percent more likely to have a bachelor's degree than those who don't, and are 34 percent more likely to have a higher degree still. Students aged 18 and up are big on video calling, with 30 percent making or receiving such a call in the last 30 days, which is in turn 57 percent more likely than the overall adult population.

So what does that mean? Taking all the different points of contact here, we discover that the average video calling user is young, wealthy, well-educated and female, so gearing product choices accordingly may well result in the best success in the market. However, this doesn't mean that every bit of video calling tech will be geared to the young and wealthy lady out there. Niche markets may play a part here, so video calling tools for young, well-educated gents will likely be following. But with this information in hand, we're likely to start seeing a lot less one-size-fits-all video calling tools, and more video calling tools with a specific market in mind. Given what we know about video calling—particularly its use in the mobile workforce—it's not a surprise to see it used by the young and well-educated in large numbers.


As video calling advances as a service, it's not out of line to see new technology geared toward this vein come out accordingly. More and more real time communications tools like video calling will hit the market, and the designs and features afforded by these tools will likely be at least somewhat shaped by demographics. Knowing these figures will be important to better target the market, and now that we know these things, the products that emerge should change accordingly.

More tips on considerations when using video in a business setting will be covered next week at ITEXPO. A session on Tues., Oct. 6 from 10-10:45 a.m. “Skype for Business Audio and Video Device Considerations,” will include panelists from Polycom and Microsoft talking about the considerations needed by users and organizations to drive ROI and user productivity across PCs, phones, browsers, and meeting rooms.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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