Impact of Use Rate on Session Time

Posted Sep 1, 2015

While recent industry research brought to light the room for growth in average session time of many mobile apps, new data may also indicate a straightforward means of improving this metric: Use Rate.

Reviewing trends of the top 200 grossing publishers on the AdColony platform thus far in Q3, a clear trend emerged regarding average session time relative to Use Rate:


From this data, it is evident that there is a strong correlation between the share of users who engage with mobile video advertisements and the average session time of the app. Specifically, compared to the average session duration of apps with 10% Use Rates, apps with higher Use Rates enjoy session times as much as 6X longer:

Use Rate Average Session Length
20% + 7%
30% + 20%
40% + 25%
50% + 65%
60% + 131%
70% + 157%
80% + 281%
90% + 501%

Framing the data differently, average Use Rates of top earning apps were stratified by average session time, revealing a similar trend toward higher Use Rates among better retaining apps.

Establishing apps with 1 minute average session durations as the baseline, apps with a 5 minute average session duration have a 57% higher Use Rate, and apps with average session durations over 10 minutes have 3 to 4 times higher Use Rates.

Granted, this data isn’t all too surprising, as a number of factors are at play:

  1. Why lower retaining apps may have lower use rates.
  2. How higher use rates may drive increased session duration.

Missed Opportunities: How Low Session Times May Hamper Use Rate
When a user is only in an app for a minute or less, the opportunity to interact with a traditional :15 or :30 video ad is limited, thereby limiting the potential Use Rate and Ad ARPDAU potential of the app.

To get around this issue and improve Use Rate in quick-use apps, top earning publishers with short session durations rely on native, in-feed mobile video. Leveraging Instant-Feed™ technology, publishers in the beta program are able to slow the scroll and captivate their users for an additional 5 to 10 seconds, driving incremental revenue and engagement in an otherwise short app session.

Driving Increased Session Durations with Video
On the opposite end of the spectrum, value exchange video placements were most prevalent among apps with the longest session durations. As more users reap the rewards of a value exchange video, they are more apt to stay within the app longer, driving increased average session duration.

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