Fun, Fun, Fun 'Til Her Daddy Takes Her Smartphone Away

Before there was an iPhone, there was an iPod and there were Gameboys. And so the smartphone was in many ways born from the last digital revolution of mobilizing and miniaturizing entertainment. It is not surprising, then, that the overwhelming majority of us continue to see our handheld devices as portable jukeboxes and game machines. New surveys and metrics from two companies underscore just how deeply we identify handheld devices with the fun side of life.

In a survey of users across Tapjoy’s rewards network, 62% copped to playing at least 3 hours of games a week on their devices. That must be why App Annie saw an explosion of game app revenue in 2013. Using its own indexing system, the metrics company claims it saw iOS games revenue (excluding ads) nearly double between Q4 2012 and Q3 2013 and more than double for Google Play game apps. Independently, both mobile device stores handily grossed more revenue than games on dedicated handheld game consoles like the Nintendo 3DS and Sony Vita.

Meanwhile at the jukebox, music app revenue was up 77% in 2013, led by Pandora.  

The Tapjoy reports suggests why we are seeing such a strong association between music and phones. They find that 90% of smartphone users say they have more than one music-related app on their device. A third of users share music-related information on social media. And as many (a third) also say they prefer a mobile device over radio and the desktop as a route to both hear and discover music.

Since the source is Tapjoy, of course, the ad network wants to tout the impact of music-focused promotions on the user. Less than half say they would seek more information about an artist after seeing an ad for them on their device. It says survey respondents claim that the top three activities they pursue after seeing a music ad are to search for reviews and visit a music related site to download a music app.  

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