Mobile Apps Dominate Time Spent on Digital Media

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It’s a digital world, and within that world, mobility rules. A new study from comScore found that nearly two-thirds of users’ time spent with digital media is spent using a mobile app on a smartphone or tablet. Half of users’ time is spent on with apps their smartphones. Desktops and laptops now account for 34% of time spent with digital media.

The youngest group included in the comScore study, millennials between the ages of 18 and 24, spend 66% (3.2 hours a day) of their total digital media time using a mobile app. Older millennials (ages 25 to 34) spend 2.6 hours a day using a mobile app. The oldest age group, 65 and older, spend 1.6 hours a day on a mobile app.

Average users spend 16 times more time on the top apps than they do on the top mobile websites, but mobile websites tend to capture larger audiences. An average user spends 11.9 minutes a month on the mobile web, but nearly 187 minutes a month with a mobile app. Counting monthly unique visitors, however, the mobile web attracts 15.7 million monthly unique visitors, more than double the 7 million monthly unique visitors who use an app.

comScore also lists the top 10 most used mobile apps based on their penetration of the total app audience. Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) own six of the 10. Here are the top apps and their percentage of use:

  1. Facebook: 81%
  2. YouTube: 71%
  3. Facebook Messenger: 68%
  4. Google Search: 61%
  5. Google Maps: 57%
  6. Instagram: 50%
  7. Snapchat: 50%
  8. Google Play: 47%
  9. Gmail: 44%
  10. Pandora: 41%

The top app among young millennials is YouTube, with Facebook the second most popular app. For other age groups the top app is Facebook, with YouTube second among 25 to 34 year olds and 35 to 54 year olds. The second most popular app among users 55 and older is Google Search.

comScore determined the top indexing apps based on ranking the top 50 apps by unique visitors by age segment. The top indexing apps among young millennials were iFunny, GroupMe, SoundCloud and Tumblr. Among older millennials the top apps were Venmo, Shazam, Tinder, Yelp and Zillow.

For GenXers, ages 35 to 54, the top indexing apps were Checkout 51, iHeartRadio, Walmart, shopkick and Groupon. For users 55 and older, the top apps were Fox News, Solitaire by Mobilityware, Verizon Cloud, Kindle and Google Play Newstand.

Interestingly, the app that most millennials (35%) say they “can’t go without” is Amazon. Gmail and Facebook run neck and neck for second place with 30% and 29%, respectively.