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Who Noticed? Mobile App Minutes Surpassed Web Minutes. It Will Be Clear This Superbowl and Beyond…

January 26, 2012

We recently came across some data that suggests  that Mobile Apps Put the Web in Their Rear-view Mirror — Last June!

And December’s performance only gets stronger.





We guess this should not come as a surprise…

A new platform shift is taking place.  In 2011, for the first time, smartphone and tablet shipments exceed those of desktop and notebook shipments (source: Mary Meeker, KPCB, see slide 7).  This move means a new generation of consumers expects their smartphones and tablets to come with instant broadband connectivity so they, too, can connect to the Internet.

Our analysis shows that, for the first time ever, daily time spent in mobile apps surpasses desktop and mobile web consumption.  This stat is even more remarkable if you consider that it took less than three years for native mobile apps to achieve this level of usage, driven primarily by the popularity of iOS and Android platforms.  Let’s take a look at the numbers.

With mobile app usage soaring, Flurry additionally studied which categories most occupy consumers’ time.  For this snapshot, Flurry captured time spent per category from May 2011 across all apps it tracks, now totaling more than 85,000.  The results are shown in the pie chart below.

Mobile App Consumption by Category

The chart clearly shows that Games and Social Networking categories capture the significant majority of consumers’ time.  Consumers spend nearly half their time using Games, and a third in Social Networking apps.  Combined, these two categories control a whopping 79% of consumers’ total app time.  Further, as we drill down into the data, consumers use these two categories more frequently, and for longer average session lengths, compared to other categories.  Any way we slice it, Games and Social Networking apps deliver the most engaging experience on mobile today.

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New Market Entrepreneurs with or pursuing web offerings might be well served to consider how this platform shift might affect their plans, both in opening new doors and closing important pathways toward revenue traction.   Since we are glass-half-full kind of guys, let’s explore a great example of  “new doors” planned for the upcoming Superbowl.

Major advertisers and a range of social TV services are looking to mobile for a boost during this year’s Super Bowl. For brands, smartphones and tablets offer the chance to extend and amplify their multi-million-dollar TV ad buys, while social TV services should be enjoying their busiest day of the year as fans turn to their devices to discuss the action.

The drive to website? Passe. This year’s going to be all about tweeting, Facebooking and checking-in. A good party game to play is take a drink each time “Twitter” or “hashtag” is mentioned. You’ll probably want to secure a designated driver.

“We’re really excited about it. Brands spend all this money creating these commercials. and now they can make them jump off the screen and into people’s hands,” Krauss said. He added that events such as the Super Bowl lend themselves perfectly to mobile integrations, thanks it’s already social nature. “People aren’t sitting with their laptops, they’re out with friends or at bars.”

Then there are the companion apps, of course. Chevrolet has launched one for Android and iPhone devices dubbed Game Time, which will encourage users to interact with polls and interactive features for the chance to win one of 20 automobiles. Its TV spot will drive users to download the app, which is a significant media investment given the multi-million-dollar price tag placed on that inventory.

The NFL itself is also getting in on the action with its official Super Bowl 2012 app. It promises aggregated buzz from players and the social media world, as well as stats and other related content.

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Launch Pad is incubating two sports-related mobile projects that leverage the mobile usage trend factors above at the intersection of sports, gaming and social.  Both are very cool and compelling.  We look forward to sharing more in the near future.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill permalink
    January 30, 2012 7:38 am

    A great opportunity for Mobile Business Apps over the next few years.


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