A New Study Might Make You Reconsider That App You’re Developing

About to release a brand-new mobile app?  Then comScore has some bad news for you.

According to a new report, Americans prefer spending most of their time on their smartphones.  However, in a blow for developers looking to reach that audience, most people won’t download newer mobile apps.  In fact, they prefer apps and services that they’re already familiar with.

comScore recently released their 2017 US Mobile App Report.  Last July, the media measurement and analytics company surveyed 1,033 US smartphone users aged 18 and over.

According to the report, to engage with digital media, 57% of Americans used mobile apps.  Smartphones had a 50% share, while tablets had 7%.  Desktop use ranked in second place with 34%.

One key thing to note about the survey is that very few people use mobile browsers.

Only 7% of users said that they engaged with digital media through their smartphone’s web browser.  2% used their tablet’s browser.

Very few people actually download new apps.

Among those who actually downloaded apps, 13% downloaded just one new app a month.  11% downloaded two new apps.  8% downloaded three.  5% downloaded four apps.  7% downloaded five to seven apps.  Another 5% downloaded eight apps or more.

Bad news for developers: people only prefer apps that they’re already familiar with.

Taking a look at the most-used apps among all age groups, did you know that Facebook and Google own the top six?  They also own eight out of the top ten.

Facebook ranked as the highest used app with an 81% overall share.  YouTube took second place with 71%.  Facebook Messenger took third, with Google Search, Google Maps, and Instagram rounding out the top six.

Snapchat and Pandora were the only apps not owned by Google and Facebook that appeared on the list at #6 and #10, respectively.

One final thing to note: younger millennials actually preferred YouTube over Facebook, according to comScore.  All other age groups preferred using Facebook.

Pandora Radio has also lost the older audience.  The app appeared only for those aged 18 to 24, and those 25 to 34.


For more information, comScore has the study available here.


Featured image by Jason Howie (CC by 2.0)


One Response

  1. benji

    I’m hugely biased as I’m the founder Disciplemedia.com, a company that builds apps for the superfans of content makers, including a few big name bands and artists. Getting your fans to download your app is tough and getting them to become regular users is even tougher but the rewards easily make up for it. Your app audience will be 10-30x more engaged than your web audience and once engaged they convert to buying products at a far, far higher rate than your fickle web audience. To us the question for an artist should not be ‘should I have an app ?’ but instead ‘can I be bothered to put the effort in to cultivating my own audience and do I have a community that wants to hang out with each other on a daily/monthly basis ?’ if the answer to the second question is yes then there’s a business for you in having an app whereas a website will be never be more than a shop front and socials …well we all know their issues.