In what seems an eternal struggle between the Apps and the Web, the smartphone apps have been increasing its footprint from long. Taking up about 41% of digital media time in July 2014. It was only a matter of time before the app won. Having taken up 50% of the Americans’ time spent online, according to a ComScore report in September 2016, the app has indeed won, sooner than many estimated.
According to comScore’s Media Metrix Multi-Platform and Mobile Metrix, July 2016 was the first time that smartphone apps have left other digital media platforms behind. A full 50% of all digital media time spent online in the United States is on smartphone apps, with desktop and tablets accounting for 32% and 11%, respectively. “Chances are when you want to know what’s happening around the world, or in pop culture, or in your friends’ lives, your first move is to reach into your pocket and open one of the number of different social apps on your phone,” wrote comScore’s Adam Lella, in a blog post. “And unless you already happen to be sitting at a computer, a smartphone app is probably your first option when you decide to listen to music, get directions to a destination, check the weather or catch up on email.”
Why does Mobile Apps Will continue to Win?
Some tech pundits have been predicting the decline of mobile apps usage, but the trend and increasing share of smartphone apps have proved them wrong. High engagement OS users with smartphone apps are just another confirmation that the apps economy, despite its array of issues, is in vigorous health. Both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store is expected to continue to grow. It is estimated that the App Store will have over five million apps by 2020, according to marketing intelligence company Sensor Tower.
Adam Lella wrote, “In the near term smartphone apps are likely to grow their share of digital beyond the 50% mark, but desktop and tablets will maintain critical roles in consumers’ online consumption for the foreseeable future.” Another recent survey, State of the Mobile Industry 2016, conducted by Open Mobile Media of 700 mobile experts revealed a spirited attitude as to the continued growth of the apps economy. Mobile payments, mobile streaming and the smart home all scored highly in the Open Mobile survey, with customer engagement deemed to be the key factor.
Key to App Success is App Experience
The report also reinforces the importance of apps for brands. Marketers use App install ad campaigns as a popular way to encourage app downloads, but they should remain aware that the app experience is key to grabbing and keeping users’ attention. According to Nancy Hua, CEO of mobile A/B testing service Apptimize, “One key mistake many marketers make with new apps is focusing on gaining users and not improving the app itself.”