Although smartphone applications are driving digital media usage, recent data indicates that many smartphone users avoid downloading new apps altogether.
The comScore "2016 U.S. Mobile App Report" revealed that smartphone apps have driven the majority of growth in digital media usage over the past three years. However, the report also showed that 49 percent of smartphone users said they do not download any apps in a month.
- The average smartphone user downloads two smartphone apps per month
- Smartphone apps alone account for nearly half of all digital media time and 3 out of every 4 minutes on mobile in total
- Mobile now represents almost two out of three digital media minutes, and mobile apps are approaching almost 60 percent of total digital time spent
- Men between the ages of 18 and 44 are the most likely to be "heavy app downloaders" who try at least five new apps each month
In addition, comScore noted that advertising and marketing is becoming "a more important driver of app installs."
"App acquisition appears to be moving from 'pull' to 'push,'" comScore wrote in its report. "Meanwhile, more users are now discovering apps from websites, digital ads and traditional media ads, highlighting the increasing importance of traditional push marketing for user acquisition."
comScore pointed out that the highest engagement apps are owned by only a few of the largest internet companies as well. Thus, app publishers must look beyond traditional marketing and advertising to promote their apps and engage consumers.
"People aren't downloading as many apps anymore, they increasingly put those apps into folders, and they are less likely to allow push notifications, making it harder than ever for apps to be seen," comScore stated. "Breaking through means having the rare novel app idea or relying on traditional marketing and advertising for distribution."
- download the report