Verto Index: Brands

For our final Verto Index of the year, we are focusing on the biggest digital brands in the U.S. For the purposes of this Index, when Verto refers to a brand, it includes the main parent brand (eg., Facebook) as well as Verto’s data on the other digital properties or subsidiaries owned by that brand (eg., Instagram and WhatsApp).

The ten most popular digital brands (based on the number of monthly unique users) feature many familiar names and few surprises. In fact, the only brand on the top 10 that isn’t a household name is National Amusements, Inc., an entertainment company that owns Viacom, CBS, and Showtime, among others.

Despite a well-publicized series of struggles over the past year, Twitter remains at number six on our list, with an overall reach of 63% – a number that could potentially be even higher if you factor in the network’s large external traffic numbers. And although our data doesn’t yet include Jet.com as part of the Walmart brand, the legacy retailer still ranks at number nine. While that still puts it significantly behind Amazon (the king of e-commerce, according to last month’s Index), Walmart still ranks ahead of other big digital retailers like Apple and eBay.

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Does a Stickiness Rating Indicate Longevity for These Brands?

Verto’s Stickiness rating compares daily users to monthly users to quantify the most engaged users. For consumers, some of the stickiest brands on our index might also represent some of the most indispensable sites and services: search-engine giants, social networks, and major device manufacturers are all well represented. And while the presence of Google, Facebook, and Microsoft may be a given, the presence of Mozilla and Snapchat are a bit of a surprise. Both have small monthly user numbers compared to the others on the list, and (for the time being) only a single product or app. Mozilla’s 49% stickiness rating puts it far ahead of larger rivals like Yahoo (30% stickiness). And although Snapchat’s stickiness is surpassed by Facebook, both social media platforms far exceed Twitter, which has a stickiness rating of just 22%.

Americans Spend Significant Time With Brands

While the near-ubiquitous reach of brands like Google and Facebook is a given, the amount of time that users spend with leading brands is also impressive. American adults collectively spent 461 million days on Google in November alone (the equivalent figure for Facebook was a more modest 136 million days). That breaks down to almost an hour spent on Google per user, per month. And the amount of time that users spent on Google far surpasses that of any other brand: users only spent an average of 34 minutes per month on Mozilla, the next high-ranking brand, and sixteen and-a-half-minutes per month on Facebook. And while Snapchat users collectively spent 6.2 million days on Snapchat during the month of November, that actually just shakes out to about four minutes per month per user.

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Why Digital Brands Must Fight for Market Share

Even though consumers are faced with an increasingly vast number of digital brands, sites, services, and apps, Verto research shows that the average user tends to limit his online activities to a limited selection of apps and sites.

For example, while the average consumer in the U.S. has 71 unique apps installed on his mobile device, only seven apps are being used on a daily basis. Is a similar principle at work in regard to how consumers interact with digital brands? Many of the same brands repeatedly appear at the top of our rankings for overall reach, monthly user numbers, user time, and stickiness. As a result, digital brands may have to work even harder to gain users and retail them – and consequently, fight even harder for market share against their competitors.

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