Every year we spend about a month with our head down, glaring, staring or grinning at our apps. One whole month! That’s a big chunk of our lives. Is that time just being invested in mindless distractions like Candy Crush?
Well, gaming apps are soaking up lots of minutes each day. In the USA, games apps draw players in for half an hour a day. In Japan, that doubles to an hour a day! And games do account for 75% of apps purchases. So yes, gaming is huge.
But there are lots of other apps competing for our attention. According to research by App Annie, we use, on average, 36 apps each month. Amongst those three dozen apps, some are more popular than others. Dating and Productivity apps are used about four times a day in short bursts. Maps and navigation are only used a couple of times a day, but for longer. Educational apps are a once a day thing. Health and fitness apps are nudging up towards twice a day.
Clearly, Words with Friends and Tinder with strangers are keeping many of us amused at bus stops. However, there is a range of app behaviour that goes beyond our favourites. There are apps for things like shopping and travel that have proven themselves to be useful and are now being used at certain times and in particular ways on a regular basis.
How does this behaviour impact media planning? Obviously, we need to understand our consumers’ habits better so we can figure out how can we reach them with the right message at the right time. And next time we look at the media calendar, maybe we should think about the month of Apptober.
Peter Goodall is BCM’s Creative Director