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The Shift in Mobile Content Consumption: Are Publishers Prepared?

Posted Nov 3, 2015

It has been no secret that time spent in-app continues to grow, amounting for a higher percentage of a user’s time on mobile each year. However, what’s also interesting is the declination in time spent in mobile browsers, as evidenced by recent data reported by Business Insider.

Charts_11-03-2015_01From this data, it is evident that while in-app mobile usage has grown 56.6% in the last two years, time spent in browser has fallen 30.4%. This has dramatically affected the balance of time spent on mobile devices, as evidenced in the chart below.

Charts_11-03-2015_02 From a media share perspective, we can see the combined effect of mobile browser’s decline coupled with the growth of apps. While the mobile web once accounted for 20% of a user’s time on mobile devices, that figure has since been cut in half. So what might 2016 look like?

Charts_11-03-2015_03

Based on mobile web’s current rate of decay in timeshare, 2016 mobile web usage may look much like the chart above, with users only spending one fourteenth of their mobile time in-browser.

The Impact for Premium Publishers
For premium publishers still relying on mobile web traffic to garner content consumption, this is alarming news. While top publishers (CBS, People, USA Today, TMZ, etc) have already made the transition to drive users to their mobile apps, others still struggle with this ever-important step in the evolving mobile ecosystem.

As users increasingly rely on apps to deliver the content that is important to them, content publishers may soon find themselves in increasingly crowded app markets, particularly for news, lifestyle, and entertainment publishers.

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