Mobile App Trends of 2015

As a digital marketing agency, we are committed to staying up-to-date with all digital trends to provide the best insight and guidance we can for our clients.This week, comScore released “The 2015 U.S. Mobile App Report.” and it provides incredible insight into some of the most important mobile app trends for the year. 

The importance of mobile apps in the digital landscape cannot be overstated – the amount of time people in the U.S. are spending on digital media is continually growing; according to comScore its “growing nearly 50 percent in the past two years, with more than three-fourths of that growth directly attributable to the mobile app.”

To this end, comScore’s report includes data on mobile app trends like audiences, user habits, top / growing apps, content categories, social and entertainment apps, and app ads / monetization. The report also analyzes behavioral measurements from digital audiences on desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets, as well as mobile web and app audiences on smartphones and tablets. Clearly, the report provides an ubundance of data, but we’ve pulled all the most important information today’s digital marketers need to know. 

(NOTE: references to “mobile” means the combination of smartphone and tablet. When data is referring specifically smartphones or tablets, it will be labeled accordingly): 

high-level overview of apps

1. Smartphone apps are eating up the digital universe and are now close to being a majority of all digital media time.

2. Mobile now represents almost 2 out of 3 digital media minutes, and mobile apps alone now constitute a majority.

3. App usage time is being driven heavily by Millennials on smartphones, while older segments skew on tablet apps.

4. Establishing app audiences is harder, but their real value is in their loyalty. They spend 18x more time on apps than mobile web visitors.

Interesting App User Habits

1. Smartphone users rely most on the app store for app discovery, and more Millennials seek out apps across all methods of discovery.

2. Half of all time spent on smartphone apps occurs on the individual’s single most used app. And it’s almost 60% on tablets.

APP habits

3. Smartphone users are more comfortable sharing location info than receiving notifications (which could mean that privacy less of a concern than annoyance!).

The Top + Fast-Growing Apps

1. The list of top 25 mobile apps is dominated by the leading digital media companies and tends to concentrate within a few categories.

Top apps

2. Facebook ranks as the #1 smartphone app by total time spent for almost half its user base – an astounding number.

3. Habits can be powerful drivers of app usage, particularly when daily behaviors are involved ( such as getting your caffeine fix).

4. Some leading retailers have experienced recent app success by leveraging their customers’ routines of visiting their stores.

5. Accessing on-demand services has also become habitual for many people, and Uber & Lyft lead the way for on-demand transportation.

Content Categories

1. Social media and entertainment account for the six top app categories and drive two-thirds of total time spent on apps.

time spent app

2. Certain content categories’ usage is now driven almost exclusively by apps, with Photos and Instant Messengers leading the way.

Social Media + Entertainment Apps

1. The average mobile user spends a whopping 26 hours per month on social apps. For Millennials, it’s 16% higher than the total audience.

2. The YouTube mobile app’s explosion in engagement on smartphones and tablets highlights the rapid shift to mobile video.

3. Podcasting looks poised for lift-off as more than 4 in 10 Millennials now listen on smartphone apps at least once a month.

App Ads + Monetization

1. Mobile ads not only work, but they work much better than desktop ads on average – particularly at the bottom of the funnel.

mobile ads app

2. Mobile native in-app video ads can be very effective, especially when adapting ad creative for short-form viewing.


All information is from “The 2015 U.S. Mobile App Report” provided by comScore.




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