12 Amazing Mobile App Usage Statistics for 2014

Mobile usage, and par­tic­u­lar­ly the use of mobile apps, has risen dra­mat­i­cal­ly in the past few years. How can brands bet­ter reach and engage con­sumers via mobile dis­play adver­tis­ing, or con­tent opti­mized for mobile, and con­nect with them as they are...

Pat Hong By Pat Hong from Linkdex. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Mobile usage, and par­tic­u­lar­ly the use of mobile apps, has risen dra­mat­i­cal­ly in the past few years. How can brands bet­ter reach and engage con­sumers via mobile dis­play adver­tis­ing, or con­tent opti­mized for mobile, and con­nect with them as they are con­sid­er­ing, eval­u­at­ing, and trans­act­ing their pur­chas­es. The momen­tol­ogy team spoke to comScore’s Adam Lel­la to find out more.


A new report from com­Score, The U.S. Mobile App Report, has high­light­ed sev­er­al fas­ci­nat­ing insights about the state of U.S. mobile app usage. One key find­ing is that total mobile app usage has surged 52 per­cent since 2013.

Last year, mobile first sur­passed desk­top in terms of total dig­i­tal media engage­ment. This year, anoth­er key mile­stone was reached – the major­i­ty of all dig­i­tal media time now occurs on mobile apps.

The report reveals that apps are the main fac­tor dri­ving the growth of mobile, and the func­tion users are uti­liz­ing the most. Here are 12 key sta­tis­tics from comScore’s U.S. Mobile App Report.

12 Takeaways from comScore’s U.S. Mobile App Report

  1. Total U.S. mobile app usage has surged 52 per­cent since 2013, exceed­ing the rate of growth in U.S. total dig­i­tal media time spent across all devices at 24 per­cent.
  2. In the same peri­od, desk­top com­put­er usage has remained more or less con­sis­tent, ris­ing just 1 per­cent from 2013 lev­els.
  3. Total U.S. mobile activ­i­ty includ­ing mobile brows­er usage, now accounts for 60 per­cent of total U.S. online media usage, with desk­top account­ing for the remain­ing 40 per­cent.
  4. Apps dri­ve the major­i­ty of media con­sump­tion activ­i­ty on mobile devices, with users spend­ing an aver­age of approx­i­mate­ly 7 out of every 8 min­utes on apps.
  5. For hand­held dig­i­tal devices, smart­phones have the high­est share of app ver­sus brows­er activ­i­ty, at 88 per­cent of total usage. Tablet app usage accounts for 82 per­cent of total usage.
  6. The aver­age U.S. smart­phone user down­loads three apps per month. While more than one-third of all U.S. smart­phone own­ers down­load at least one app per month.
  7. The total num­ber of app down­loads is high­ly con­cen­trat­ed with­in a small seg­ment of the smart­phone pop­u­la­tion. The top 7 per­cent of own­ers account for near­ly half of all app down­load activ­i­ty in a giv­en month.
  8. 57 per­cent of smart­phone users accessed apps every day of the month, while 26 per­cent of tablet users did so. A much greater fig­ure of 79 per­cent of smart­phone users accessed apps at least 26 days per month, while 52 per­cent of tablet users did so.
  9. A stag­ger­ing 42 per­cent of all app time spent on smart­phones occurs on the individual’s sin­gle most used app. Near­ly three out of every four min­utes of app usage occurs on one of the individual’s top four apps.
  10. On aver­age, iPhone users engage with their smart­phone apps for nine more hours in a giv­en month than Android users.
  11. The rank­ing of top apps is dom­i­nat­ed by app con­stel­la­tions of some of the largest dig­i­tal media brands; specif­i­cal­ly, Face­book, Google, Apple, Yahoo, Ama­zon, and eBay. These six brands account for 9 of the top 10 most used apps, 16 of the top 25, and 24 of the top 50.
  12. Face­book is the num­ber one app in both audi­ence size and share of time spent among each of the dif­fer­ent demo­graph­ic seg­ments when bro­ken down, high­light­ing the breadth and depth of its pop­u­lar­i­ty and it’s impor­tance to the mobile media land­scape.

What Does This Mean For Brands?

Adam Lella photoMomen­tol­ogy inter­viewed Adam Lel­la (co-author of comScore’s U.S. Mobile App Report) to fur­ther find out how brands should adjust their mar­ket­ing strate­gies to account for these changes in user behav­ior and device usage.

Momen­tol­ogy: What’s the biggest chal­lenge for brands look­ing to increase their mobile adver­tis­ing reach and ini­tia­tives?

Adam Lel­la: The lack of estab­lished infra­struc­ture and the chal­lenge of mobile mea­sure­ment. Mea­sure­ment is still catch­ing up with desk­top, and it is not ful­ly inte­grat­ed into the plan­ning and buy­ing process­es, although it’s improv­ing with prod­ucts like comScore’s vCE Mobile cur­rent­ly in beta test­ing. At the moment, how­ev­er, mobile is still unproven to many adver­tis­ers, and they are still exper­i­ment­ing to find out which types of ads are most effec­tive on the medi­um, and still require more con­crete data on their mobile app cam­paigns before they are ready to com­mit larg­er por­tions of their bud­gets.

Momen­tol­ogy: The report also high­lights some fas­ci­nat­ing data about the most used apps, with Face­book stand­ing out as a pop­u­lar app across all age groups. Are brands under­valu­ing the poten­tial of mobile and social media adver­tis­ing?

Lel­la: Yes, to a cer­tain degree. Any­time there is an emerg­ing adver­tis­ing chan­nel, it will be under­val­ued at the begin­ning due to unfa­mil­iar­i­ty and that lack of infra­struc­ture I men­tioned. How­ev­er, giv­en the mas­sive audi­ence engage­ment on mobile (>60 per­cent of all dig­i­tal media con­sump­tion) and social media (25 per­cent of all time spent on mobile alone), these adver­tis­ing plat­forms should be gold mines for brands. And with the high sup­ply of con­sumers and rel­a­tive­ly low demand com­pared to oth­er medi­ums, this is actu­al­ly the best time for adver­tis­ers to spend on mobile and social media con­sid­er­ing the cur­rent low prices (read: high val­ue) of these ads.

Momen­tol­ogy: What should brands be doing dif­fer­ent­ly, or how can they improv­ing their mobile adver­tis­ing, pres­ence, and engage­ment?

Lel­la: Brands should con­tin­ue to test the mobile space and be con­stant­ly try­ing to dis­cov­er what works best for them. This starts with under­stand­ing how their audi­ence is engag­ing on mobile and what they need to do to reach them. They should also be exper­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent types of mobile ads and learn­ing what’s most effec­tive for them.

It’s inevitable that more dol­lars will even­tu­al­ly flow into mobile giv­en its large audi­ence size and strong grasp on con­sumers’ atten­tion, even if the dol­lars-to-atten­tion ratio nev­er reach­es a per­fect equi­lib­ri­um. Giv­en this fact, brands will be bet­ter suit­ed to start learn­ing about this adver­tis­ing plat­form soon­er than lat­er, espe­cial­ly if they want to avoid falling behind their com­pe­ti­tion.

Adam Lel­la is a mar­ket­ing insights ana­lyst at com­Score. He began his career as a mar­ket­ing per­for­mance ana­lyst for a glob­al brand in the quick-ser­vice restau­rant indus­try, where he devel­oped his exper­tise in inter­pret­ing and syn­the­siz­ing big data. Lel­la has a degree from North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty where he stud­ied com­mu­ni­ca­tions and busi­ness.

You can down­load comScore’s full ‘U.S Mobile App Report’ here.


Is it time for brands to turn up their mobile adver­tis­ing efforts. Let us know your thoughts in the com­ments below.

Pat Hong

Written by Pat Hong

Editor at Linkdex/Inked, Linkdex

Pat covers the SEO industry, digital marketing trends, and anything and everything around Linkdex. He also authors Linkdex's data analysis and reports, analysing the state of search in various industries.

Inked is published by Linkdex, the SEO platform of choice for professional marketers.

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