Spending Too Much Time On Mobile Technology?
In the United States, we are on our technology devices, mainly mobile phones, roughly 5 hours per day according to analytics firm Flurry. This follows on recent news that said the time spent in mobile applications had increased 69% year after year. Five hours per day is a 20% increase in comparison with the fourth quarter of 2015, and seems to come at the expense of mobile browser usage, which has drastically decreased over the years. Browser share on mobile is now at 8%, down from 9% in Q4 2015, 14% in Q1 2014 and 20% back in Q1 2013.
The shift into applications can be attributed to other factors: increased selection in the app stores, mobile broadband, and more available Wi-Fi. The firm found that United States users were spending more time using applications than watching TV. The explanation here is that applications are absorbing more of our “downtime” where we would have otherwise been passively engaged with tv. Plus, we are turning to applications like Netflix and Hulu to serve as our means of TV viewing. Media and entertainment applications today account for 15% of the time we are spending in apps. Flurry also says that users in the United States are spending more than half their time in messaging, social media, and media and entertainment applications.
All this engagement is coming at the expense of another popular application category; games. Games are still the money-maker for developers and the app platforms, even though their use is dropping. Apple said that New Year’s Day 2017 was the biggest App Store day ever, with $240 million in purchases. Flurry said the category has seen a decline for the second year in a row, and now accounts for 11% of time spent in apps. With the elevated time users spend in apps, the advertising landscape is being affected, too. Applications can now attract TV ad dollars. They are even going after TV subscribers, thanks to new services like YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, and Sling TV. Flurry says it believes these entries will have an impact on time spent in the days ahead, and will “siphon even more minutes from TV.”