Just Released – Verto App Report on the Mobile App Economy

176 million active mobile users can’t be wrong. The mobile app economy continues to grow at a rapid pace. While download figures have been the traditional way to measure an app’s success, download data tells a sliver of the story. Regular insights on app usage — from user adoption to engagement levels to session duration — are better indicators of an app’s propensity to succeed.

Consider these statistics:

  • U.S. consumers spent 10 billion hours accessing apps on their mobile devices in December 2015.
  • 86% of mobile users access apps every day.
  • US consumers use on average 10 different unique apps per day on their smartphones.
  • There are 680 apps that have at least 1 million users each.

Today, we released the Verto App Report (you can download it below) in which we look at these deeper, more meaningful metrics to explain how consumers use and engage with apps every hour of the day. We examine demographics, mobile app usage patterns, and consumer behavioral segments.  Yet, a key question remains: Why is the app economy flourishing despite the long history of the Internet being based on sites and web browsers? We’ve offered 7 explanations.

1. Distribution

Unlike websites, apps can easily be discovered. (Remember: “There’s an app for that.”) Users can browse in trusted global marketplaces, like the App Store or Google Play. These services provide rating platforms, security, and a built-in recommendation service. Further, these platforms ensure that all supported devices can run the app, and so the developer can launch an app in 100 countries at once.

2. Advertising

Rather than worry about bringing in traffic for your sites across the Internet, mobile app advertising is well-targeted. Within seconds, app publishers can get users to discover, download, and engage with their app.

3. User experience

Nothing is more frustrating to a user than a slowly rendered or non-responsive website. By comparison, native apps and games can provide more features in a UX-optimized environment which encourages users to stick around longer and come back for more. This is one reason why tablet apps have so much appeal among the older generations.

4. Monetization

Because of the user experience and longer engagement times, apps can offer superior monetization opportunities with in-app advertising or in-app purchasing. For example, the mobile gaming space is dominated by casual games. King’s Candy Crush Saga is one of the top-grossing games around and literally un-playable without a purchase.

5. Standalone operability

Unlike websites, apps don’t always need an Internet connection to function. Even in places with poor-to-no connectivity, users can still play casual games like Sudoku or even listen to music through features such as Spotify’s offline mode.

6. Re-engagement

While it is easy to forget a URL, apps are pervasive. They reside on your device, and that gives you the ability to discover and re-discover them time and time again. Even if you forget that you have downloaded an app already, the app remembers you with notifications and pop-ups.

7. Multi-tasking

Today’s consumers are busy. They jump from activity to activity, and for that reason, the traditional clicking and back-and-forth on websites is a sub-optimal experience. To accomplish many things simultaneously or in quick succession, for example, to book a table while selecting a new playlist or reading a news alert that’s just popped up, native apps can better serve this purpose.

The App Report is a publication based on data from the new Verto App Watch, a mobile app audience measurement solution that offers the in-depth mobile app behavioral data with actionable insights and real-time reporting.

Read the App Report, weigh in on the data @VertoAnalytics, or get more information about Verto App Watch here.