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Report: Mobile Users Spend 80 Percent Of Time In Just Five Apps
Facebook and Google dominate time and revenues in mobile.
According to a recent survey based report from Forrester Research, US and UK smartphone owners “use an average of 24 apps per month but spend more than 80 percent of their [in app] time on just five apps.” Whether or not it’s literally five, this is directionally correct; consumer app time is concentrated in just a few popular apps.
According to the Forrester survey data, which come from a mix of behavioral tracking and self-reporting, Facebook and Google are neck and neck for most mobile-user attention. As it has for some time Facebook owns the top spot, but overall Google is slightly ahead of Facebook given aggregate time spent across Google’s portfolio of apps.
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. (2015)
Data from comScore show something similar; penetration and reach are concentrated in just a few top apps. The chart below, however, doesn’t reflect time spent.
Source: comScore (December 2014)
From an advertising perspective the majority of US (and global) mobile ad revenues are also concentrated in a relatively small number of top properties, according to eMarketer data. The percentage of revenues “owned” by the top 10 companies in mobile is roughly parallel to the PC — approximately 70 percent.
Source: eMarketer (December 2014)
The implications of the Forrester findings are fairly dramatic for marketers and the companies that dominate consumer mindshare. This partly explains why Facebook is making so much money from mobile and why an increasing share of its ad revenue (69 percent) now comes from mobile usage.
The recommendation and obvious implication of the data is to concentrate ad spend on those apps at the top where consumers are spending most of their time. However marketers shouldn’t neglect the mobile web either. And where they have apps themselves, brands, publishers and marketers should focus on making those apps genuinely useful and engaging.
People now spend more time with mobile apps than the PC internet and TV, if Flurry’s data are to be believed. Yet marketers have not fully accepted or adapted to that reality.