comScore: Apps represent 54% of the time spent consuming digital media

Mobile apps are driving 54 percent of the time consumers spend on digital media, according to comScore. The company recently released its 2015 Mobile App Report, based on behavioral data it tracks from its proprietary platform.

  • Smartphone apps make up 65 percent of the growth in total digital time spent, versus 12 percent for tablets.
  • Millennials spend a whopping 90 hours on smartphone apps each month, followed closely by those aged 25-34 at 82 hours per month. 
  • In general, apps dominate the mobile web at 87 percent of time spent, compared with 13 percent of those who use their mobile browser.
  • The number of apps that have reached more than 20 million people has jumped from 21 to 27 percent in the last year.
  • App discovery via app stores was the most common approach by 21 percent of millennials and 18 percent of those aged 35-54.

"App usage is a reflexive, habitual behavior where those occupying the best home screen real estate are used most frequently. Publishers must place more value on this real estate if they don't want to lose out in the transition to mobile," the report said. "A small slice of app users can contribute a lot of usage. Publishers must look to millennials' app habits to win in mobile long-term. Millennials are the heaviest app users and they spend a lot of time on social media and other platforms. Publishers must have a well-developed platform strategy to get mobile traffic and find ways to convert app users."

As always, comScore offers one of the biggest deep-dives in app usage developers in the U.S. are likely to find. While some of it may merely confirm what they already suspect -- the fact that apps which end up on a user's home screen are the most used, for instance -- there are some surprises here. For example, several portions of the data show that app growth isn't necessarily killing off the mobile web or even the desktop as expected. There are also some points that suggest successful approaches to monetization, particularly native mobile in-app video ads. 

For the more:
- see the full report here

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