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Brief Published: 15 Sep 2015

Apps More Popular Than TV

US consumers now spend more time on their apps than watching television

For the first time, US consumers are spending more time using apps than watching television, according to a September 2015 review by global mobile analytics firm Flurry. The average US consumer spends about three and a half hours per day on their smartphone and tablet apps, and half an hour less watching TV.

  • Apps > Ads: For the first time, revenues from in-app purchases are set to exceed mobile advertising revenues worldwide. During 2014, app stores generated $21bn worldwide, while mobile ads made $23bn. This year, it is estimated that in-app purchases will exceed $33bn and the mobile advertising industry will make $31bn.
  • Trained to Pay: The gaming industry has dominated top-grossing spots on Apple's App Store and Android equivalents since 2008. This year, media and entertainment apps such as Netflix, Spotify and Pandora have moved up the ranks, showing that mobile consumers are becoming more likely to pay for content.
  • Multi-Screen Distraction: Millennials (aged 21 to 34) and Gen Z (aged six to 20) tend to use many devices simultaneously, so it is difficult to tell if time spent viewing TV by these generations is dedicated to watching or is peripheral to their app use – and vice versa.

For more insights into how new digital behaviours are shifting the media landscape, see FutureEverything 2015, State of Mobile: Summer 2015 and Distracted Consumers.

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