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Mobile Monday: Time Spent on Smartphones and Mobile Games Boosted By Lockdown

Posted May 3, 2020

Almost every week, new data shows the effects of smartphone and app usage during the coronavirus pandemic. The latest from eMarketer details the increased time spent on smartphones being driven by app usage and particularly, mobile games. Meanwhile, another report not only shows more time spent on mobile games but also a growing audience and more in-app purchases made. Get all the details in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Average Time Spent on Smartphones Increases By 14%
eMarketer predicts that smartphone users will spend an average of 3:06 minutes per day on their devices during 2020. This daily average is a big jump from 2019’s figure of 2:43 at an approximately 14% increase. While growth is expected to continue for 2021 and 2022, gains will much smaller for this forecast period. The increases in smartphone time can be attributed to the continued gains in penetration which is expected to reach 84% by 2022.

The report says indicates that smartphone time is mostly spent on apps. Smartphone app time passed 90% in 2018 as a part of total smartphone internet time and is expected to reach 93% in 2022. Stay-at-home orders have affected the mix of consumers’ time with mobile apps. Travel, weather, and shopping apps are seeing less time from users. On the other hand, eMarketer says that social, audio, and gaming apps have seen surges in activity. The report predicts that mobile games will grow from 23 minutes per day last year to 26 minutes this year.

Time Spent Playing Mobile Games Up 62%
GameAnalytics has released new data that confirms lockdowns have had major effects on daily mobile gaming habits. According to their Benchmarks+ platform, time spent playing mobile games was 62% higher in March than in January. In the same time period, the number of mobile gamers grew from 1.2 billion people to 1.75 billion per month, marking an increase of 46%. 

The report also says that in-app purchases have gone up. For most of March, the growth for IAP was between 5% and 30% a day. With more people playing, there’s a bigger chance of someone making a purchase.  Furthermore, the longer people play, the more likely they’ll spend. The upticks in spending coincided with social distancing measures being introduced in Europe and North America in mid-March.

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Mobile Monday examines the latest news, trends, and developments in mobile apps, tech, and advertising. Do you have a story to share for the next Mobile Monday?   

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