Apps – A Growing Market Opportunity

The app analytics provider, Flurry published last week its five-years report on the mobile industry in which it analysed the time spent on mobile devices by US consumer.

In March 2013, users were spending at least 2h and 38 minute per day on their device. This year, the number of hours spent is up to 2h and 42 minutes which represents a 3 minute or 2.5% growth of time spent on mobile. The very interesting statistics in that report is that out of the 2h42min spent per day on mobile phone, 2h19min are spent on apps. People are clearly spending less and less time browsing the internet. For instance, time spent on Safari dropped from 12% to 5% in one year while other non-google browser also decreased from 4% to 2%. Within just few years, apps became “the place to be” and clearly changed the way we relate and use our mobile phones. Apps are now dominating our mobile usage.

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The report offers a more detailed analysis of apps.  The most popular ones are Gaming apps that gathered 32% of time spent on mobile. Social messaging app such as Facebook increased their share from 24% to 28% within a year which illustrates well their strong position in the apps market. Furthermore, out of those 29% spent on messaging apps, 17% have been dedicated to Facebook.  The acquisition of the photo-sharing app, Instagram, helped Facebook maintaining its dominant position. The recent acquisition of WhatsApp will surely reinforced it especially since WhatsApp hit a new daily record of 64 billion messages handled in 24hours. It is also interesting to notice that YouTube itself represents 50% of the entertainment category.

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Flurry also offers an analysis of Mobile advertising in its report. Facebook appears to have created a fair balance between the distribution of advertising revenue and time-spent. Indeed, the company earned 18% of the overall mobile advertising revenues while at the same time representing 17% of time spent on mobile. On the other hand, Google managed to reach a completely different number; while representing only 18% of time spent on mobile, Google earned 49.3% of the overall mobile advertising revenues. The report shows that the rest of the apps that gathered 65.3% of the time spent on mobile only received 32% of ad revenues including the very popular gaming apps. However, the good news is that those “other apps” category are now facing a big opportunity to start monetizing their share.

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To conclude, the report illustrates well the growing influence of apps over the mobile phone market when web browsers have seen their position reduced to a strict minimum. Emarketer predicted the mobile ad market to grow by 75% next year and to surpass web display ads by 2017. A clear opportunity for apps is just being created at this exact moment.

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