The Increase of Digital Media Usage in Mobile Apps

Posted by Matt Milloway on Feb 15, 2016

Digital media usage continues to rise with every passing year and native mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android are paving the way at unprecedented rates. comScore, a trusted internet research company, released their annual digital media usage study using 2015 data.

The findings are notable for any company considering going mobile, as well as those with an existing mobile app, but lacking key features to truly engage its user base and rise above the competition. Continue reading to find out the highlights of the study and AppBurst’s takeaways as they apply to mobile app development. 

comScore 2015 Digital Media Usage Study

The amount of minutes individuals spend on digital media since 2013 has increased substantially; while desktop minutes have increased at only 16%, mobile app minutes have soared—increasing 90% in a matter of years. This surge now means that 2 out of every 3 minutes spend engaging in digital media now occur on mobile and native apps in particular enjoy a majority. Simply put:

“Digital media usage time is exploding right now, and it’s predominately being driven by mobile apps.”
“Smartphone apps have driven most of the growth in digital media usage in the past two years”. 

Other Digital Media Usage Findings

- Mobile apps greatly outpace mobile web.

- App usage is largely driven by Millennials 

- Tablet usage increased with age—mostly outside of the 16-24 segment

- Establishing loyalty is key; established app audiences spend 18x more time on apps than mobile web visitors.

- Winning a spot on a user’s home screen reaps huge usage rewards.

What Does it All Mean? 

The fact digital media usage continues to rise on mobile apps is hardly surprising. Recent studies—both from comScore and other respected sources—all point to an exponential increase in usage of mobile apps over their mobile web counterparts and on traditional desktop computers. Companies and organizations without a plan to give their audience a mobile app are quickly falling behind competitors. 

The biggest obstacle to ensure success in a crowded mobile space is winning the loyalty of users. Spending 18x more on a mobile app than mobile web counterparts is extremely significant and shows just how important a mobile app’s value becomes to a company's overall impact on content marketing. Develop a mobile app with custom branding, interactive features, and value that translates to year-round relevancy for users to win a coveted spot on home screens and enjoy the type of usage and engagement unavailable on any other medium.  

Consider the fact users have their smartphones and tablets on their body almost every waking minute with the screen turned on virtually every hour. The exposure is unobtainable via paper material, desktop computers, or anything else. Develop a plan to resonate with users via a native mobile app and use the engagement as a springboard for marketing, sponsorships, and more. 

The Takeaway

Developing a mobile app because the vast majority of digital media usage occurs on mobile is the first step. Yet making a mobile app available to an audience and expecting results ignores the competition; individuals only have so many minutes in the day to spend on mobile devices and fall back on their favorite apps more often than not. 

Work with a mobile app development team to ensure the end product stands out from the crowd with value-added tools and features, as well as a highly branded look and scalable content with easy management from admin users to send new content to users at any time of day or night. The right strategy enables companies and organizations to become a go-to digital media provider for a significant portion of its audience—a benefit with untapped potential in today’s digital world.   

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