Report points to significant increase in time spent using apps in 2020

12th February 2021

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The latest App Annie 'State of Mobile 2021' report has revealed that new app downloads increased 7% to 218-billion globally in 2020.

As consumers increasingly migrated to mobile, app store spending increased 20% year-on-year in 2020 to $143-billion and mobile advertising spend increased 26% to $240-billion.

The time spent daily using apps also increased 20% to 4.2 hours as mobile adoption “boomed” in 2020, advancing two to three years within a period of 12 months, the report reveals.

The report shows that, during 2020, mobile commerce expanded as shopping behaviour changed, with the time spent by consumers globally, excluding in early-adopter China, within shopping apps on Android phones increasing by 45%.

Mobile orders of fast food and food delivery increased 105%, ramping up in the second and third quarters, before reaching record highs in the fourth quarter, as consumers stayed home amid lockdowns and restrictions induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

More time was also spent using business and finance apps during the year under review.

The time spent using business apps increased 275% and is expected to remain high, as companies rework flexible and remote working options. Excluding China, consumers spent 45% more time in finance apps during 2020.

“Whether leveraging wallet apps, financial services like loans, shopping for major purchases like a car or a house, or investing in the market, finance apps are in high demand and a critical part of the decision-making process for consumers,” the App Annie ‘State of Mobile 2021’ report highlights.

Meanwhile, 40% more hours, year-on-year, were streamed on mobile phones last year.

“Time spent in streaming apps peaked in the second quarter of 2020 in the West as the first wave of Covid-19 forced people inside. Even while at home, consumers turned to the small screens to stream content or engage in second-screening,” the report says.

It is expected that mobile streamers in the US, South Korea and the UK will download 85%, 80% and 60%, respectively, more video streaming apps, compared with pre-pandemic levels.

In addition, time spent on mobile phones surpassed live television (TV).

The report outlines that, in the US, consumers spent 8% more time on their mobile phones than watching live TV each day. In the second quarter of 2020, Americans watched 3.7 hours of live TV a day, compared with the four hours spent on their mobile devices.

The weighted average among countries that were analysed in the report was four hours and ten minutes, up 20% from 2019.

Further, YouTube was the number one video streaming app, by time spent, among all markets analysed, except China, with a sixfold increase in streaming time per user, reaching 38 hours a month .

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor




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