8 in 10 Digital Minutes Are Spent on Our Mobile Devices

December 14, 2020

Comscore Mobile Share Digital Minutes Dec2020Mobile app usage has seen a notable increase since COVID-19, and new data [download page] from Comscore confirms this trend, reporting global growth not only in mobile minutes, but apps’ continued dominance of those minutes. The report also outlines overall changes in digital consumption this year in key categories impacted by the crisis.

Mobile and Apps Dominate Digital Minutes

The data from August 2020 found that mobile not only continue to account for a majority of total digital minutes, but that this share has grown globally year-over-year. In the US, 8 in 10 (79%) digital minutes are accounted for by mobile, up 1% point y-o-y, with Indonesia seeing the largest share of mobile minutes (92%, +3% points). The largest y-o-y growth among the markets analyzed was seen in Argentina, where mobile’s share rose by 9 points to 87%.

Of this considerable time spent on mobile, apps are the main driver – in the US, nearly 9 in 10 (88% of) mobile minutes were spent in apps in August 2020, though this was down 1% point y-o-y.

Certain app categories show up as distinctly mobile-only. When it comes to Coupons/Incentives apps, for example, 88% of this digital audience access via mobile only. Other app categories such as Dating (85%), Instant Messengers (83%) and Weather (82%) see the vast majority of their digital audiences access apps via mobile only.

COVID’s Impact on Digital Minutes

Taking a look at the global pandemic’s impact on digital minutes, Comscore compared data from August 2019 with April 2020.

It’s no surprise that the Hotel/Resort & Home Sharing and Airlines categories shared the greatest percentage decline in worldwide unique visitors (59% each) via mobile. Interestingly, the Job Search category saw a decline of 33%, while at the other end of the scale, the Politics and Kids categories each experienced an increase in global unique visitors of 60%.

That being said, the tide turned over the summer months, according to data from April to August this year: the number of unique visitors to the Hotel/Resort & Home Sharing category grew by some 65% over this period, with the Job Search (+39%) and Airlines (+22%) categories also experiencing a rebound.

Thanks to the pandemic, 2020 has been a big year for social media, and Comscore’s data shows no exception. Total minutes spent on a number of social platforms jumped year-over-year in August 2020, with Skype rising by 51% and growth also seen in total minutes spent on WhatsApp (40%), Twitter (21%), Facebook Messenger (18%) and Reddit (16%).

Digital Video

Across the board, video consumption has continued to grow in these latest figures, with total time spent viewing digital video increasing by 83% for the period from August 2017 through August 2020.

Time spent viewing OTT video sits slightly above mobile video with the help of an increase of some 164% in the past 3 years, while mobile viewing time has grown by 65% in that time – the two platforms have been consistently comparable over the past few years. Desktops accounted for the least viewing time, and also the slowest growth (of 21%) since August 2017.

In terms of the age groups consuming video via mobile, it’s users ages 25-54 that account for the majority (61%) of mobile minutes spent with video, with those ages 25-34 consuming the largest share overall (24%).

View the full presentation here.


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