Apps are interesting for the music industry beyond the growth of specific ‘music’ apps. All genres of apps, including games and social networking, are competing with music for attention and disposable income.
That’s why we tend to dive on research into wider app habits from companies like Flurry, Distimo and App Annie, which have built their analytics businesses by regularly sharing insights into what people are doing with their smartphones and tablets.
Flurry released its latest piece of research yesterday: The Rise of the Mobile Addict. It’s an attempt to get to the bottom of what the most engaged mobile users are doing on their devices.
Based on analysing data from 500,000 apps running on 1.3bn devices, Flurry claims that the average consumer launches apps 10 times a day. It defines the separate ‘Mobile Addict’ category as people who launch apps more than 60 times a day.
“In March of 2014, there were 176 million Mobile Addicts, up from 79 million in March of 2013. That is astonishing growth in a single year,” wrote Flurry boss Simon Khalaf. “This compares to 55% growth for a category we’re calling Super Users and 23% for Regular Users, who launch apps 16 times or less per day.”
The company digs further into the demographics of these mobile addicts: they’re 52% female and 48% male, with the category over-indexing on 13-17, 18-24 and 35-54 year-olds – but strangely under-indexing notably for 25-34 year-olds.
“They have just entered the workforce, are predominantly single and are likely out and about more often than older and younger segments,” wrote Khalaf, who also suggested that mobile addicts are “consumers that are effectively wearing their devices… a sneak preview into the make-up of early-adopters of Wearables, and what types of apps and experiences will resonate with them”.
Games, cars, sports and shopping, in short, although music didn’t get a mention this time. But music is undoubtedly benefitting from rising app addiction: a study published by App Annie earlier this year claimed that music app revenues on iOS and Android grew by 77% in 2013, making music the third most lucrative app category behind only games and social networking.
Those figures didn’t include apps that don’t funnel their revenues through Apple and Google’s store systems: Shazam and Spotify for example.