Telecom & Wireless

Americans Spend 5 Hours a Day on Their Mobile Devices

U.S. consumers used their mobile apps 11% more in 2016 than in 2015, and the time spent using apps rose by 69%. That amounts to a whopping five hours a day of mobile device usage, up 20% in the period between the fourth quarter of 2015 and the fourth quarter of 2016.

The data were reported on Monday by Yahoo subsidiary Flurry Analytics. Time spent using a mobile device has nearly doubled since the first quarter of 2013, when the average time spent totaled just over two and a half hours.

Another big change since the first quarter of 2013 is the percentage of time spent using a browser. In 2013 browser usage accounted for 20% of total time spent using a mobile device; by the end of last year, browser usage accounted for just 8% of time spent. In minutes, that’s a drop from more than 31 minutes a day to 24.

Half of the five daily hours Americans spend with their mobile devices are spent on social, messaging, music, media and entertainment apps. Facebook nabs 19% of total time spent, with music/media/entertainment grabbing 14%, and messaging/social apps taking 12% of time spent. YouTube (3%) and Snapchat (2%) are included to reach 50% of time users spend using a mobile app.

The other 42% of non-browser use is dominated by gaming (11%), utility app usage (9%) and shopping (5%). Flurry noted:

Games have seen a decline in share for a second year in a row even as money keeps pouring into the category. With users more willing to spend money on apps – partially due to frictionless payment methods like Apple Pay and Android Pay – shopping apps saw a significant growth.

Another major shift has been to playing video on mobile devices. The debut of YouTube’s skinny over-the-top (OTT) bundle, a similar package due soon from Hulu and established packages from Sling TV and DirecTV, Flurry believes the minutes spent on mobile devices will increase even more at the expense of time spent watching traditional TV programming.

And where the eyeballs go, the advertising dollars follow. Not good news for pay-TV providers.

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