Recently, comScore released its latest Global Mobile Report, which explores mobile trends and behaviors across several markets around the globe.
Today we’ll dig into pieces of the report, and talk about what the patterns mean for advertisers and their strategies in the year to come.
Mobile Audiences and Usage Look Similar Globally
In the United States, 65 percent of time spent with digital devices and media is spent in the mobile environment. Across the globe, mobile accounts for well over half of all digital minutes.
Of the time spent on mobile, 80 percent or more of it is spent with apps (87 percent in the U.S.), dwarfing the time spent with mobile web.
A significant number of users are now mobile-only. Globally, more than 25 percent of users only use mobile devices, while in the U.S. just 12 percent are mobile-only.
The mobile-only segments are growing everywhere, though Brazil and Spain see faster increases than do the U.S. and United Kingdom. In the U.S., 2 percent more users are mobile-only than in 2016.
Age groups appear to go mobile-only at similar rates around the globe. Whether they’re Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X or Baby Boomers, users aren’t likely to abandon desktop completely.
Further, in most participating countries, mobile-only users were more often women than men. In Germany, it was an even split, and in India, men outnumbered women by 16 percentage points.
Many content categories still see more time on desktop than mobile. For example, while concise content like social media and news is more likely to be accessed on mobile, heftier content, such as educational resources and government-related information, is more likely to be accessed on desktop.
In the U.S., and in the vast majority of countries surveyed, more than half of retail minutes happen on mobile.
However, only 39 percent of mobile users in the U.S. go on to make retail purchases on mobile devices.
More than 40 percent of mobile minutes is spent using the top 30 apps in markets all over the world. In the U.S., the top 30 apps get just under 50 percent of mobile minutes.
Taking that a step further, we see that most individual users spend more than 95 percent of their mobile time in their top 10 apps, and about half of their time with their No. 1 app.
In almost every global market, the most significant number of apps are gaming apps. In the U.S., they make up more than 20 percent of apps.
While gaming apps are the most common apps, they’re not the most popular in terms of time spent. Social media and instant messaging are fewer in number, but see a disproportionately large number of minutes.
Users over the age of 55 are more likely than younger groups to download new apps more often than they delete/uninstall old ones. However, those under 35 are more likely to be “net positive” for app downloads than older generations. This is because they’re downloading new apps more often than they did a year ago, and at much higher rates than older groups.
The key takeaways from the report are:
- Mobile audience dynamics, such as how much they rely on mobile versus desktop, vary from market to market.
- Mobile usage time is dominated by a few content categories, including social media, entertainment and gaming.
- Comfort with mobile transactions could unlock growth for certain content categories, as trust and user experience are barriers to m-commerce.
- Mobile app use is highly concentrated within leading apps, as users’ top 10 apps get 95 percent of their time.
- The mobile marketplace shows signs of maturity: New app downloading begins to stall, and usage is concentrated among leaders, making it tougher for newcomers to break into the market.
Leverage Data on Global Mobile use to Stretch your Advertising Dollars
Except for businesses in a few key categories (education, government, B2B, etc.), mobile advertising deserves as much attention as, if not more than, desktop advertising.
Given that most users spend their mobile time on social media or messaging apps, placing high-quality ads on those apps has the potential to yield positive results. To ensure that your mobile ads have the most impact, consider whether ads on the mobile web or within mobile apps are right for you and your brand.
Even as the mobile-only audience grows, numerous users are still using multiple devices. Find out which platform you should be advertising on by identifying the devices your audience uses most and developing a cross-platform strategy.
Also keep in mind the differences between age groups, as well as the fact that app downloads are plateauing among many users.
Finally, understand that time on mobile doesn’t always translate to sales on mobile. Focus on building trust and creating a great user experience, and turn some of those mobile minutes into dollars!