Report: More than two-thirds of digital media time now mobile, apps 50 percent

The desktop commands just 32 percent of our digital attention.

Chat with MarTechBot


According to July data from comScore, smartphone apps now constitute 50 percent of all digital media time. That’s up from 44 percent roughly a year ago.

Overall, digital media time spent with mobile is now a whopping 68 percent. The desktop commands just 32 percent of our digital attention.

In the event it isn’t obvious, there are a number of immediate takeaways and implications that come from this data. The first is that though we’re living in a cross-platform world, mobile is without question primary. (Last week I wrote about data showing that mobile devices were more often used at the “top of the funnel.”)

comscore digital media time

Anyone arguing all platforms should be treated equally is misguided. The user experience must be solid across platforms — I’m not arguing anything can be neglected — but the smartphone experience must be considered the first and primary platform. Failure to deliver a good mobile experience will compromise brand perceptions.

Despite its shrinking share of digital time, the desktop still dominates online conversions. That’s largely because of bad mobile user experiences. Many brands, retailers and publishers are still very desktop-centric and treat mobile like a supplement to the PC experience rather than the other way around.

As digital media time has shifted to mobile devices, publishers are much more vulnerable to ad blocking, which happens more often on mobile. Indeed, significant page view volume globally is now seeing ad blocking (more on that tomorrow). Ad blocking in apps is less common than on the mobile web.

Finally, as consumers concentrate more and more of their digital media time in a small number of apps, it becomes much more challenging to reach and engage them. The mobile web has much greater reach but much less engagement; and getting consumers to download apps has become progressively more difficult.

All this ups the stakes for brands and retailers. However, there are answers and solutions. But they take considerable effort, testing and resources.

Contributing authors are invited to create content for MarTech and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the martech community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

Greg Sterling
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land, a member of the programming team for SMX events and the VP, Market Insights at Uberall.

Fuel for your marketing strategy.