Apps dominate digital media time, but users are downloading fewer apps

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. August 29, 2017

Over half of digital media user time is now spent in mobile apps (50%), ahead of desktop (34%) and tablet devices (7%). That’s according to the latest comScore 2017 US Mobile Apps Report, which highlights that although apps dominate digital media habits, consumers still aren’t trying a wealth of new ones.
Smartphone app usage is heavily dominated by the younger audiences, whilst those over the age of 65 years still prefer desktops.
The average 18 to 24-year olds spend three hours per day using apps. The majority of that mobile time is being spent in-app (87%) versus the mobile web (13%).

The average users are spending 16x more time on their top apps compared to mobile websites. That said, the mobile web captures a larger audience.

Bad news for app developers, as 51% of users do not download any apps in a month, compared to 49% who download one app. Indeed, the report suggests that interest in new apps may be slowly declining. App discovery was down across app stores, word of mouth and even advertising.

That said, millennials appear to still be excited about new apps and are actively seeking them out. 70% of them said they were always looking for new apps, whilst 65% were excited about new apps.
Millennials are also much happier to pay for apps with 19% of them having purchased more than 12 apps over the last 12 months, compared to just 1% for the over 55-year-olds.
In addition, they are also happier to spend cash in-apps.
The main reasons for deleting an app are still lack of usage, decluttering devices, waning interest and decreasing storage space on devices.

Interestingly, 21% of Millennials simply deleted apps because they did not like how they looked on their home screens.
These are some interesting findings which point to Millennial audiences as the strongest consumers of mobile apps.