Mobile Usage

Wearable Usage Doubles in New Zealand

Nielsen’s latest Consumer and Media Insights report collected the wearable usage data of New Zealanders over the past 12 months. There are currently 393,000 Kiwis over the age of 15 wearing wearables – a number that has doubled itself over the past year. While these wearable users are doing more than just telling time, they’re also not seeking a mere status symbol. Attached to consumers nearly 24/7, wearables have a data story to tell, and with heavy increases in wearers, this space is teeming with new ways for brands to identify and meaningfully connect with people.

  • The number of wearable technology owners doubled to 93%, and represents 9% of the digitally connected population over the age of 15.
  • The average household income for these wearable users is 22% higher than all NZ households, while the average individual income is 16% higher.
  • 59% of Kiwis with wearables say exercise is an important part of their regular routine, while 25% go to the gym twice per week. 37% enjoy tough physical activity, and 20% say they often play a sport.
  • 41% say they take care in their appearance at all times, while 20% want to stand out in a crowd and say they’re willing to spend more to do so. 40% prefer their house to look stylish, but 21% wish to have the latest gadgets.
  • 66% consider themselves ‘foodies’ and like to try new food, and 27% call themselves food connoisseurs. 23% dine out at least once per week.
  • One in two wearable users are between the ages of 20 and 39, and most likely are either independent young adults or young adults with children.
  • 42% of those using wearables are career-driven, saying they want to get to the top in their career field. These users often respond to work emails at home, say their colleagues are some of their best friends, and say their work is more than just a job.


Although a relatively small portion of the overall population, this group of wearable adopters are affluent, stylish, and easier influenced by other early adopters. Wearables operate as motivational fitness tech, status symbols, and gadgets all in one, so for mobile marketers, the doorway that connects all three and links advertising is only just being built. With a guaranteed smartphone in their pocket, a disposable income, and willingness to try new things, New Zealanders and their wearable usage represent an entire sector of opportunity that’s rising quickly. Alongside these mobile usage habits lies the chance to tap into their high-exposure lifestyles.

One report projected that ads from smartwatches would skyrocket to at least $68 million by 2019. If these figures mean anything, it’s that brands should move swiftly to install their IoT strategies. Syncing up mobile ads with wearable usage isn’t just possible, it’s the next level of wearable usage.

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