In 2015 overall app usage grew by 58%. In this context, we define app usage as a user opening an app and recording what we call a “session.” With the exception of Games, every app category posted year-over-year growth with Personalization, News & Magazines and Productivity leading the way with triple-digit growth…. What was even more impressive is the majority of that growth rate came from existing users versus new users. In fact, in 2015, we estimate that 40% of the 58% total growth in sessions came from existing users, compared to 20% in 2014 and 10% in 2013…
Personalization apps saw their sessions balloon more than 332% in 2015. These apps range from Android lock-screens to Emoji keyboards. When we looked deeper into the category, we noticed that the majority of the growth is coming from Emoji apps (mainly keyboards) giving consumers the ability to share customized correspondence in their favorite messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Line and Snapchat. It is not a surprise then to see Kim Kardashian’s app “Kimoji”skyrocket to the number 1 spot on the Apple AppStore, on its launch day.
News and Magazine apps grew a whopping 135% in 2015. This growth validates the trend in media consumption we reported on last summer, signaling a shift in media consumption from television and PCs to smartphones in general, and phablets in particular, as we will discuss later.
Productivity apps continued the trend that started in 2014, with 125% sessions grow in 2015. In fact, more and more consumers, especially teens and college students are using their smartphones, phablets and tablets as their primary computing device and their sole device to access email and other productivity apps, like Google Docs, Quip, Slack and the Microsoft productivity suite.
Lastly, Lifestyle and Shopping apps grew 81% in 2015, following a 174% growth in 2014. This growth rate validates reports in early 2015 that mobile commerce is “growing like a weed” and already accounts for 33% of online commerce in the US and 40% of online commerce on a worldwide basis.
Inch by Inch, Mobile and its Apps Absorb the Media Industry.
Time spent on phablets grew 334% year-over-year (2.9 times more than the average), compared to 117% for all form factors. With time spent on mobile surpassing that on television, and phablets posting astonishing growth in media consumption, it appears that the cable industry will find in the phablet and its apps its long-awaited digital nemesis.
The Phablet: The Unstoppable Media Consumption Device.
…In 2015, Flurry tracked a mind boggling 3.2 trillion sessions. When we started 8 years ago, we never thought that our counters could reach these numbers. But, we have been fortunate enough to have a front row seat watching the mobile revolution unfold and absorb (and in some case demolish) industry after industry.