Top 30 apps dominate over 40% of mobile time, whilst mobile marketplace matures

comScore has recently taken a closer look at the mobile ecosystem and how audiences, content and apps influence the digital landscape.

According to the report, mobile now accounts for half of all digital minutes across 13 markets, and a whopping 75% in Mexico, India and Indonesia. When it comes to measuring the average mobile minutes per visitor, Latin American countries rank at the top.

‘The Global Mobile Report’ also confirmed that 80% of all mobile minutes across all markets were being spent in apps. All markets have users which are active on mobile during the month, but in India 70% of users are mobile-only.

Among the top mobile behaviours are social networking and instant messengers. Indeed, social networks take the highest percentage of total digital minutes average across all markets (78%), retail (60%) and news and information (59%).

Overall, users are spending more time with communication and entertainment apps and sites compared to practical usage.

Interestingly, comScore also revealed that mobile adoption for banking and retail categories now mirrors that of desktop equivalents. Over half of the retail category time has now shifted to mobile in most markets.

mCommerce appears to be picking up with four out of 10 mobile users now making a purchase in a month. This trend is largely driven by users in the US, Canada and the UK.

Meanwhile, app reach is highest in the US and Canada where over 30 apps are reaching 10% of users. No countries had more than 20 apps with a 20% reach. This shows that a small number of apps dominate reach. Indeed, the leading 30 apps across all markets generate more than 40% of all mobile minutes and 60% of mobile minutes in Indonesia and Mexico.

No matter what the age group, 95% of user time is spent in their top 10 apps. Half of mobile time is being spent inside users’ most used app. Unsurprisingly, mobile games are the category with the highest number of apps, but app minutes are dominated by social apps and instant messaging.

Although a variety of messaging apps are available across all markets, each market has a clear preference for one of the major three instant messengers available: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat.

The mobile app marketplace is a maturing one as comScore rightly points out. Accordingly, the company found that the majority of markets were flat or declining when it comes to apps’s share of minutes. Merely Spain saw noteworthy growth.

One of the core problems app developers are facing is that smartphone owners do not download more than one app in a month – and that’s a small minority. For example, just 23% of UK mobile device owners download more than one app a month, 11% download one app and 66% download no apps per month.

It appears that trend is age dependent with those aged 18 to 34 years generally downloading more apps than older users.

“The global move to mobile is far from uniform,” said Will Hodgman, executive vice president of international sales at comScore. “This report demonstrates how understanding where digital consumption has shifted more heavily to mobile platforms allows media owners, advertisers and their agencies to leverage sweetspots of audiences and content. As we expand granular, panel-based mobile measurement to more regions, we’re excited to continue revealing these actionable trends.”