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Mobile Monday: U.S. Consumers’ Time Spent in Apps Increases 20%, Netflix Announces Venture into Mobile Gaming

Posted Jul 25, 2021

2020 was a year of great change for people in many ways. Around the world, people were mandated to stay at home and most of them relied on technology to keep them entertained and connected. Subsequently, consumers spent more time in apps daily than ever before. As lockdown restrictions have eased, will people maintain their newfound mobile habits? According to new data, users will still be spending lots of time on their apps. Meanwhile, Netflix has announced that its foray into gaming will start with mobile. Want all the details? Read on for this week’s Mobile Monday! 

Time Spent in Apps Remain Strong Even as Restrictions Ease

App Annie’s new data revealed that time spent in apps in Q2 2021 is still significantly higher than pre-lockdown. This quarter, app users in the United States upped their daily hours to just under four, a 20% increase over Q2 2019. Brazil was top of the list for time spent in apps with a 30% jump from Q2 2019 to Q2 2021. Although there was a slight fall in the last 12 months, Brazilians are still spending over 5 hours a day on apps. Indonesian app users also spend more than 5 hours daily on apps and have had a 35% surge in the last two years. The most notable markets for growth are Russia and Turkey. Russians spend 45% more time on apps than they did in Q2 2019, while Turks’ daily time spent has increased by 40%.

App Annie noted that while COVID-19 related apps contributed to growth in most countries, the breakout apps in the U.S. were not related to immunization or contact tracing. The top breakout app in the U.S. is PictureThis, an app that helps users identify plants. The app has also taken off in Germany, France, and Japan. During the pandemic, there has been an increased interest in gardening and botany. The second breakout app is HBO Max which has 44.2 million subscribers in the U.S. alone. Streaming service usage has soared in the past year, especially on mobile devices.

Netflix Will Include Mobile Games for Free

Last week, Netflix announced that they would start to expand into video games by providing ad-free mobile games. These games will be on the existing platform and will be of no added cost to subscribers. The company shared this news in their second-quarter shareholders letter which was released before its Q2 earnings report. In the letter, Netflix indicated plans for the games to connect in some way to their popular franchises like Stranger Things. 

The shareholders letter said, “We’re excited as ever about our movies and TV series offering and we expect a long runway of increasing investment and growth across all of our existing content categories, but since we are nearly a decade into our push into original programming, we think the time is right to learn more about how our members value games.” Netflix’s announcement is further confirmation that brands are recognizing the massive opportunities gaming can offer. As more streaming services have gained ground, Netflix is hoping the massive popularity of mobile games will allow them to maintain their dominance in the market.

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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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