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comScore report: Mobile web usage steadily increasing since 2013


comScore has released a report titled ‘The 2016 U.S. Mobile App Report’ which details the demographics, statistics and fast growing app usage across ages. All figures are for June 2016 unless specified otherwise. Here are the key takeaways from the report:

Digital media time spent on mobile vs desktop

In June 2013, users spent 409,847 minutes on digital media via mobile app, slightly lesser than desktop where they spent 476,553 minutes and 77,081 on mobile web. A year following that, time spent on mobile apps increased by 52% to 621,410 minutes, while desktop just grew by 1% to 480,967, whereas mobile web grew by 26% to 97,440 minutes.

In June 2015, time spent on web grew by 14% to 550,522 minutes, mobile app by 25% to 778,954 minutes and mobile web by 21% at 118,299 minutes. The report adds that in June 2016, time spent on desktop has actually fallen by 11% to 491,743, and the same on mobile has slowed to an 11% increase to 864,328 minutes, while mobile web has increased by 5% to 124,787 minutes.

Which platform did people spend time on?

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In June 2013, time spent on smartphone apps was 33% and grew steadily after a small dip in December 2014 to 49% in June 2016. On mobile app in the same time frame, 42% of the time increased to 58% by June 2016. Overall, time spent on digital media on the mobile grew from 51% to 67% from June 2013 to June 2016. Desktop was worst affected in terms of time spent online, since it went from having a 49% share in June 2013 to a 33% share in June 2016. Smartphone app contributes to 49% of time spent on digital, where smartphone app on mobile has 74% and mobile app accounts for 85% in June 2016.

18-24 year olds dominate time on smartphone apps


18-24 year olds have been spending the highest time on smartphone apps and that time is growing year over year. In June 2015, this group spent 90.6 hours, while in June 2016, they spent about 93.5 hours on smartphone apps. This was followed by 25-34 year olds spending 85.6 hours, 35-44 year olds spending 78.8 hours, 45-54 year olds spending 62.7 hours, 55-64 year olds 55.6 hours (increased by 37% from 40.7 hours in June 2015), and over 65 year olds spent 42.1 hours in June 2016.

Tablet visitor statistics


Monthly time spent on tablet apps is declining year over year across age groups, but the sharpest decline of 35% was seen in 35-44 year olds from 26.6 hours in June 2015 to 17.3 hours in June 2016.

Platforms and their use by Americans

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People over the age of 65 spent the most time on desktop, followed by 45-54 year olds, whereas the least amount of time spent on desktop was by 18-24 year olds. 18-24 year olds spent the most time on smartphone apps, followed by 25-34 year olds whereas people over 65 spent the least time on smartphone apps. Similarly, older people spent the most amount of time on tablets, whereas 18-24 year olds spent the least. An average of 87% of time was spent on mobile and 13% on web.

Unique users on top 1000 digital properties on desktop and mobile


For digital, the average monthly audience for top 1000 properties went up by 36% from June 2014 to 16.7 million unique users in June 2016. Desktop audience actually fell by 4% from June 2014 to 6.4 million unique users, whereas mobile increased by 81% to 12.4 million from 6.5 million unique users in April 2014.

Top 1000 mobile apps vs. top 1000 mobile web properties

For the top 1000 mobile apps, traffic grew steadily since June 2014 from 2 million unique visitors to about 3 million in June 2016 and 6 million unique visitors to around 11 million for mobile web properties. Mobile web unique visitors have been growing steadily to 84% in June 2016 since June 2014, but average minutes per visitor has declined from over 14 average minutes to about 9. Although mobile web registered 11.4 million monthly unique visitors and apps had only 4 million in June 2016, they spent more time 188.6 minutes on apps compared to an average 9.3 minutes monthly on mobile web.

Who downloaded the most apps in June 2016: (ages 13 and up)

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The largest group of people (13%) only downloaded 1 app every month, followed by 2 apps at 11%, whereas the percentage of heavy app downloaders was only 6 and 7% (over 8 apps and 5-7 apps). 49% of smartphone users did not download any app in the month.

– Heavy app downloaders in the US were aged 18-44 and were males of Hispanic descent. (ages 18 and up)

Apps in folders and on the home screen


18-34 year olds used app folders to group their apps the most (61%). 70% smartphone users kept the most used app individually on the home screen of the mobile. The decision to keep an app on the home screen is driven by how often the app is used, easier access, opening the app quickly, user interest in the app or app category and least by how the logo looked (not making this up!!) on the user’s mobile home screen.

How did users discover new apps? (ages 13 and up)
– An app store search was the most popular to find an app, followed by friend or family recommendations and featured/top listed in the app store.

Push notifications

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Average time spent on devices:

– An individual app on mobile and tablet was the driver of most time spent, and on an average, smartphone users used 27 different apps monthly, and tablet users 14.

Top mobile apps by unique visitors and other stats:
– Facebook, Messenger, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Play, Gmail, Pandora radio, Instagram and Amazon Mobile were the top apps by unique visitors in June 2016.
– 46% of smartphone users have the Facebook mobile app on their home screen, while the average person spends 13 hours on the app monthly. It also has 150 million unique visitors.
– 18-34 year olds or millennials mostly use Yik Yak, PlayStation official app, Venmo, Twitch and Vine followed by MeetMe, GroupMe, Tinder, SoundCloud and Wattpad.
– 18-24 year olds use Snapchat the most (70%), followed by 25-34 year olds (41%) and over 35 year olds account for 14%.
– Waze, FitBit, Uber, Tinder, Bitmoji and Lyft had the fastest amount of unique visitors since June 2014.
– Top content categories for June 2016 were other, social networking, music, games, multimedia, instant messaging, retail, photos, search and navigation, portals and news.



For the report, comScore took data from its Media Metrix Multi-Platform which tracks digital audiences across desktops, smartphones and tablets, comScore Mobile Metrix and comScore MobiLens, along with other custom analytics data and a survey of 1,049 smartphone users.

All images credited to the comScore report.

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Written By

I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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