March 24, 2013
According to eMarketer, mobile now accounts for 12% of Americans’ media consumption time, 3X its share compared to 2009. Smartphone owners now spend on average a total of 127 minutes per day in mobile apps.
Business Intelligence offers a breakdown of the most important mobile usage trends:
- Mobile gaming is the most popular usage: According to Flurry, games account for 43% of the time spent on mobile apps on iOS and Android. Not surprisingly, games, which are usually monetized through in-app purchases, are also the biggest app money-makers. According to a BII analysis of Apple’s App Store, games accounted for 70% of the top-grossing apps in the store.
- Social and mobile usage and monetization is exploding: Social networking is the second most popular mobile app category, accounting for 26% of time spent in apps. The percentage of all U.S. mobile users that accessed a social network on their phone rose from 14% in September 2009 to 39% in November, according to comScore. The growth of mobile social underscores that companies like Twitter and Facebook are now essentially mobile businesses. Mobile is central to these companies’ businesses.
- Weather, video, email, and search are all increasingly popular mobile activities: As of September, comScore reported 46% of U.S. mobile subscribers have accessed email on their phone, 40% checked the weather, 36% used a search engine, and 31% looked at maps. Mobile video is the third most popular smartphone activity in the U.S., with two-thirds of smartphone owners watching at least an hour of video weekly, according to a study released in December by the IAB.
- A lot of mobile content consumption is additive: Mobile users consume plenty of other media content through their devices as well, including reading the news and listening to music. comScore reports that 29% of U.S. mobile users accessed the news through their device in September and that 29% of American mobile users listened to music on their phones (up from 12% in September 2009). Spotify and Pandora, which both pre-date the smartphone revolution, have grown huge user bases and are now essentially mobile app companies.