Andrew Degenholtz brings some 20 years of experience as an active participant and innovator in magazine circulation and mobile app marketing to his current position as president of Oplytic, LLC, which he founded in 2009. The company offers a variety of tools to help its clients acquire engaged and paying mobile users. He is a member of the Alliance for Audited Media digital edition task force, created to develop best practices for acquisition of digital magazine subscribers.
The times they are a changing—especially for mobile apps. Ten years ago, the application was new to the marketing scene and many brands were making up strategies as they went along. But thanks to a decade of user statistics and analytics agencies that track brand performance, there’s a lot to learn from the past. Last year showed mobile app usage is up, game time is down, and accessibility redesigns need to be all around.
Reading, Writing and Analytics
According to a 2016 report from Flurry Analytics, overall app usage is up by 11% from 2015 as time spent in apps rose by an impressive 69%. Messaging and social apps experienced a year-over-year session growth of 44%. The staggering increase of 394% from the previous year can be attributed to users choosing social and messaging apps as their voice and video calling utilities. The report also confirmed the rise of phablets (smartphones with larger screens) which received 33% of the global mobile device market share in the first quarter of 2016 and 41% in the fourth.
Is Recess Over Already?
Last summer introduced the popular location-based augmented reality game Pokémon GO which helped Nintendo’s market value soar by $17 billion in a little more than one week. But this exceptional success might be just that: an exception to the rule since Flurry reports mobile games on the whole dropped by 4% in 2016. Whether the modest decline will continue to fall in 2017 is up in the air since numbers from Super Mario Run for iOS have yet to be calculated.
Senior Graduation Time
In 2016, a baby boomer turned 65 every eight seconds. The same will happen this year and for the next 13 years. That translates into four million new seniors a year, many of whom will start to experience the audio, visual and motor skill challenges that come with age. According to the U.S. Census Bureau about 19% of Americans have a disability (a number that’s bound to grow). While some apps are already taking accessibility into account (P3 Mobile and RogerVoice for hearing impaired; Tap Tap See and Be My Eyes for sight impaired), there’s a long way to go and bounty of opportunity to come regarding redesigns. Not only can brands benefit from Apple App Store and Google Play accessibility perks, they can expand their audience reach since smartphone ownership among baby boomers among baby boomers continues to grow. Plus, mobile apps with accessible designs and easy navigation will not only attract older users and those with disabilities, they’ll improve the experience for all users.