New Research from comScore's 2016 Mobile App Report

Posted by Matt Milloway on Sep 18, 2016

comScore’s new 2016 Mobile App Report, which draws on extensive mobile app usage data, indicates smartphones and tablets continue to dominate digital media consumption. Notably, companies without native mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android miss countless opportunities to engage their audiences. 

The findings not only paint a picture of widespread digital media usage on mobile devices, but provide insight into the importance of loyal user bases and becoming a full-time resource for valuable content. 

Continue reading to learn more about recent mobile app usage statistics and how to best leverage your company or organization for the future. 

Overall Digital Media Usage

Website-only content now fails to leverage the majority of content consumers: 

“Mobile now represents almost 2 out of 3 digital media minutes, and mobile apps are approaching 60% of total digital time spent.”

Smartphone apps in particular “have driven the overwhelming majority of growth in digital media usage over the past 3 years.” Native mobile apps with digital media integration—in other words, PDF documents, YouTube videos, and more—take advantage of prevailing momentum carrying mobile devices to the front of the pack. 

Companies with a unique age demographic need not worry about isolating its audience, as “smartphone app usage time is increasing among every age group in the past year.” While consumption unsurprisingly remains highest among millennials, older generations are also embracing mobile apps and consuming more content on smartphones and tablets than ever before. 

Mobile Apps versus Mobile Websites

The gap in popularity between mobile apps and mobile websites continues to remain miles apart:

“Mobile app continues to outpace mobile web by a 7:1 margin in time spent.”

Mobile websites are indeed a great catch-all for sharing content in a mobile environment, but lack the interactive features to consistently engage mobile audiences. Native mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android—enjoying an overwhelming market share—provide features like live polling, push alerts, and interactive tools unavailable on mobile websites.

mobile app development loyal users retention

Creating a Loyal User Base Through Quality Content

Loyalty is hard-earned in any industry—but once the bar is reached, content consumption skyrockets:

“Establishing app audiences is harder, but their real value is in their loyalty. They spend 20x more time on apps than mobile web visitors.”

Audiences constantly revisit mobile apps and help drive ROI through sponsorships, as well as generate more leads and social media activity. There’s also “a strong correlation between home screen position and how often an app gets used.” 

Making evergreen, highly valuable, and constantly updated content in native mobile apps available to audiences helps to shape preferences and swings the balance between casual usage and a must-have resource visited multiple times a day. 

The Bottom Line

Native mobile apps continue to drive content consumption across all age groups; companies without a mobile strategy run the risk of missing out on significant audiences as a result. 

Simply making a mobile app available, however, isn’t enough to become an integral part of your user’s daily engagement. Loyalty must be established through exclusive and timely content either unavailable elsewhere, or provided in a format superior to alternatives. 

Discuss a mobile strategy with potential providers to best take advantage of this important, growing trend in today’s mobile landscape.  

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