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Report: Time With Apps Growing But Number Of Apps Used Is Not
Consumers highly engaged with a limited number of apps, others are locked out.
While time spent with apps has grown dramatically, the number of apps used by people on a monthly basis has not. That’s according to new data released by Nielsen.
The measurement firm says monthly time with mobile apps, “has increased from 23 hours and two minutes in fourth-quarter 2012 to 37 hours and 28 minutes in fourth-quarter 2014—a 63 percent rise in two years.” However Nielsen also explains that more than 70 percent of app usage is concentrated in the top 200 apps.
The average US smartphone owner uses just under 27 apps per month, a figure that has been fairly stable over the past two years according to Nielsen. The company adds that men use slightly more apps per month (27.2 vs. 26.3) while women spend roughly an hour more per month in apps.
African-Americans use more apps per month on average and spend more time with them than other ethnic groups, according to Nielsen. By contrast, Whites use the fewest number of apps and spend the least amount of time in them.
Nielsen explained that entertainment video and gaming were the categories largely driving increased monthly app usage and time spent. A previous comScore analysis found that mobile was capturing roughly 60 percent of all digital media time, with apps seeing nearly 90 percent of that usage.
The picture presented by the Nielsen and earlier comScore data is one of in-groups and out-groups. If your app is one chosen by consumers (and not abandoned) there are significant benefits. However it’s very challenging to become one of those “chosen apps.” Developers, retailers, publishers and brands that don’t think carefully about the use cases and value delivered by their apps are thus largely wasting their time.