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Mobile Monday: South Korea Spends 37% of Media Time on Mobile, Apps Have Their Biggest Quarter Ever

Posted Jul 15, 2019

Numbers for Q2 are in, and it was a record-breaking quarter for mobile with downloads up from the previous year. We look at the quarter’s results and how games played a major part in the massive consumer spend. We also delve into South Korea’s time spent on the internet and how much of that is mobile. Learn all about it in this week’s Mobile Monday!

South Korea Spends Over 2.5 Hours on Mobile Daily
South Korea ranks the highest among the Asia-Pacific countries for smartphone and internet usage. But how much time is actually spent on mobile in the country? According to an eMarketer report, Korean adults are expected to spend an average of 2 hours and 39 minutes on mobile internet a day in 2019. That accounts for 69.8% of total internet time with only 30.2% going to desktop/laptop. Time spent on mobile is expected to continue growth to 73% in 2021. Smartphone users spend this time video viewing, shopping, gaming, and using social media.

The report states about 98% of the adult population in South Korea owns at least one mobile phone with the majority of mobile owners (89%) owning smartphones. While these numbers are growing, studies have shown that this could be driven by seniors’ smartphone usage. The Korea Internet and Security Agency released a report in February that said smartphone penetration among 60-69 year-olds had gone up to 86% in 2018, a 22% rise in the last two years. While South Korea is a digitally mature market, smartphone usage will continue to grow and present opportunities to app developers looking to capitalize on the APAC region.

Games Contribute 75% to Overall App Consumer Spend
Analytics firm AppAnnie recently released their app report for Q2 2019. Their report revealed that worldwide app downloads had totaled 30.3 billion, making it the biggest quarter for mobile to date. Additionally, consumer spend reached over $22.5 billion during the quarter, which is a 20% increase year-over-year. iOS accounts for 80% of that consumer spend over Google Play. Mature markets including the United States, China, and Japan were the primary contributors to these totals. 

Mobile games also set a new record with 11.2 downloads on iOS and Android. Games accounted for 35% of global downloads with the United States being the top market for iOS games downloads during the quarter. Games make up almost 75% of consumer spend for both Apple and Google stores. The Chinese market spent the most on games followed by the U.S. and Japan. While hyper-casual games drove high download numbers, the largest subcategories for spend in the quarter were role-playing, strategy, and action.

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