App Market Continues To Grow Despite Saturation & Consumer Reluctance To Download New Apps

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A recent ComScore report has found that although the mobile app market is still tough to crack, audience growth and an increase in time spent on apps suggests the market still has room to grow.

ComScore’s latest report reveals that over 50% of the UK’s total digital minutes are taken up by app usage.

And according to the report, this growth is thanks to a boost in time spent on mobile internet, the majority of which is made up of app usage.

To put this in perspective, ComScore found that in September this year, the time spent on desktop decreased 12% year-on-year, whereas mobile usage increased 11% since March.

Mobile app usage now accounts for 82% of the overall time spent on mobile, up 14% since March 2016.

mobile apps
ComScore said: “On a per-user basis, average app time is up 14% in the last 6 months, and we now spend on average almost 63 hours a month on mobile apps, versus 14 on mobile web.

“The natural question is when (if not already) we might reach “peak app”.

“Clearly time is growing share, and the total app audience is up 2.5% since March this year, but the market is undoubtedly becoming more competitive.

“The “successful mobile apps” club is a highly exclusive one, dominated internationally by large and established players and apps owned by the likes of Google and Facebook — even free apps struggle to gain traction.”

ComScore also found that consumers spend over half (51%) of their total mobile app time on at least one of the top 20 apps, with the majority of people not downloading a single new app in September this year.

Worryingly, less than 8% of people using apps were found to have downloaded more than five apps in a month – a concerning stat for developers looking to bring in new users.

ComScore explains more: “In September 2016 in the U.K., more than 51% of total app time was spent on one of the top-20 apps, and just 6 of the top 20 apps for total time in September 2016 were not on the list in September 2015, and these include Soundcloud, which impressively engages its users almost 10 times longer than a year ago, and of course last summer’s sensation, Pokémon GO, which still holds a top 15 spot in total time spent per month.

“If further evidence is needed of the high barriers to entry, more than half of U.K. mobile app users in September 2016 did not download a single app, and of those who did, more than half only downloaded one or two.

“Only a few heavy users download more than 5 apps per month, and they represent less than 8% of the total app audience.”

mobile apps
And although the mobile app market continues to grow, the challenges facing app developers looking to launch new products are still substantial.

Breaking into the mobile app market and bringing in huge numbers of users can be very difficult, particularly as consumers appear to stick to the largest players, rather than downloading newer products.

This was a conclusion echoed in a recent Adobe report, which found that consumers were downloading fewer new apps but launching their existing apps more.

Read more about the Adobe report here, and check out the full ComScore report here.

Emma Woodley

Emma is a reporter at Global Dating Insights. Originally from Surrey, she has studied Communication and Media at Bournemouth University and The University of Central Florida. She enjoys socialising with friends, exploring new places and can often be found with her nose in a book.

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