App Discovery Down Across Several Channels

With apps dominating people’s digital lives, it should be good times for developers and their publishing partners. While that may be true for established players, newcomers are contending with waning consumer enthusiasm for new apps. 

Month to month, a majority of smartphone users (51%) don’t download a single app, according to new research from comScore.

Among U.S. smartphone users, just 13% download one app a month; 11% download two apps a month; 8% download three apps; and 5% download four a month.

Worse yet, app discovery appears to be down across several channels, including the app store, word-of-mouth and advertising, comScore found.

On the bright side, millennials continue to express strong interest in newer apps. Among those ages 18-to-34, 70% say they’re always looking for new and interesting apps, and 65% say they get excited about new apps.

“Interest in apps appears to be wavering off for older generations of users, but millennials are still excited about apps and have a strong interest in them,” Adam Lella, senior analyst at comScore, said Thursday.

Inspiring industry innovation, 66% of millennials say they wish they could do more with their apps, comScore finds. They are willing to pay for apps, about one in five millennials download an average of one paid app per month.

Even among this precious demographic, however, getting consumers to pay for apps remains a challenge. Indeed, 36% of millennials haven’t paid for a single app in the past year, per comScore.

That percentage increases to 66% among those 35 to 54 and 80% among those aged 55 and older.

Still, apps are a big deal. Stateside, consumers 18 to 24 now spend two-thirds of their digital media time on apps, comprising roughly three hours per day.

For its findings, comScore surveyed 1,033 smartphone users in July, and, in cases, compared those results to similar surveys conducted in 2016 and 2015.    

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