How ‘Mobile-Only’ Audiences Stack Up To ‘Multi-Platform’ Audiences


While consumers are still using multiple platforms — such as desktop and mobile — “mobile-only” users are on the rise. In fact, “mobile-only” users surpassed 30 percent of users in almost half of the markets studied by comScore in 2017 for its “Global Digital Future in Focus” report.

“Global digital landscapes continue to evolve in often surprising ways,” Will Hodgman, EVP of International Sales at comScore, said in a press release.

With the rise of mobile, merchants are adapting mobile to their omnichannel strategies. In fact, 70 percent of the top 10 tier of merchants offer geo-aware apps. And 100 percent of the top 10 tier of merchants offer product purchases through apps, according to the PYMNTS OmniReadi Index.

Google and Facebook dominate the top five app charts around the world — In the U.S., for example, the top five apps are Facebook, YouTube, Google Search, Facebook Messenger and, now, Snapchat. Advertisers are taking note of Snapchat. Advertising intelligence company Media Radar estimated that advertisers will spend around $1.7 billion on Snapchat campaigns this year. Nike has already released a pair of new Air Jordan sneakers on Snapchat last month — and the shoes sold out in just 23 minutes.

— The size of mobile audiences grew almost universally — In fact, “mobile-only” audiences are second to “multi-platform” users, according to the report. In the U.S., for example, the reach of “mobile-only” audiences increased by 4.6 percentage points, while Mexico saw 9.0 percentage point growth. Mobile is important because just about everyone in the world had a mobile device as of 2016. About half of those devices were smartphones — the fastest-selling gadget in the history of gadgets. By the year 2020, about 80 percent of the adult population will own one.

— Apps account for more than 80 percent of mobile time in the markets studied in the report — In the U.S., for example, 88 percent of mobile minutes were spent in apps. A new report, for example, shows that the mobile app economy is healthy and shows no signs of slowing down. App Annie recently released its annual end-of-year retrospective report, finding that there were 175 billion downloads globally in 2017 — a 60 percent growth from 2015. In addition, consumer spending has more than doubled, exceeding $86 billion, while time spent in apps increased by 30 percent, with each user spending nearly 1.5 months in apps per year.

— India, Indonesia and Mexico have large and mainly exclusive mobile audiences — There is an almost even divide on the relative overlap of mobile users with desktop users in India, Indonesia and Mexico, suggesting that mobile has created new digital audiences in these countries more than other nations with large mobile audiences. The news comes as India overtook the United States to become the world’s second largest smartphone market in 2017. According to news from a report by Canalys, smartphone shipments in India grew 23 percent year over year in Q3 2017 to reach just over 40 million units, making the country the world’s second largest smartphone market after China.

— Video growth was led by — but not only on — mobile devices — More specifically, minutes spent on watching online videos grew three times as quickly on mobile devices than on desktops over the past 12 months — which is an opportunity for marketers. In the Reedeux CONNEXT app, for example, consumers can use it to connect to goods through interactive programming, which can be done via a separate mobile device — or, in some cases, directly through the television the customer is watching. The company has already partnered with Samsung’s U.S. business to integrate its CONNEXT app with the South Korean electronics giant’s phones, laptops and televisions, while also showcasing these products on television shows.

While it may seem that the shift from time spent on desktops to mobile has shrunk the desktop marketplace, the comScore report offers an important caveat: “Many country / category desktop audiences [in fact] remain larger, with corresponding considerations in reaching and marketing to these users.”