Mobile Engagement Hits New Highs

The consumer shift to mobile reached new milestones in May 2014. Two separate measurements underscore the change. First, time spent on mobile apps in the U.S. accounted for the majority of time spent (51%) in digital media in May, up from 43% a year ago, according to new comScore data. The other looked more broadly at media time spent in mobile devices: Smartphones and tablets reached 60%, up from 50% a year earlier.
The findings, based on an analysis of 10 billion minutes of total engagement in May, showed a couple of categories—digital radio and photos—have shifted almost entirely to mobile. That’s not too surprising, given that services like Pandora, and Instagram and Flickr on the photo side, are each seeing 96% of time spent in mobile. And that’s mainly through their apps.

… findings … showed a couple of categories—digital radio and photos—have shifted almost entirely to mobile

Other categories with 90% or more engagement in mobile include maps and instant messaging. Games came in at 86%, and digital music, at 72%.

When it comes to social networking, 71% of time spent takes place in mobile.

Social media ranks as the No. 1 category in terms of overall digital engagement, accounting for 20% of total time spent.

“When considering the category’s contribution to total digital ad spending, its rapid shift to mobile marks an important sign of the times for the Internet economy,” stated the report by Andrew Lipsman, vice president, marketing and insights, at comScore.
The most prominent example of the mobile shift in social has been Facebook. The company derived 59% of its ad revenue in the first quarter from mobile, up from almost nothing a couple of years ago. The Facebook app alone makes up almost a quarter (24%) of mobile time spent, with its app alone driving 18% of engagement.
Overall mobile time spent on social is up 55% from a year ago.
The analysis doesn’t break out video as a separate category, but video content cuts across each of the media categories examined. Lipsman said comScore hasn’t yet released mobile video usage data, but plans to in the fourth quarter when it introduces Video Metrix 3.0.
U.S. mobile advertising last year tripled to $7.1 billion, or about 17% of the $42.8 billion in overall online ad spending, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. PricewaterhouseCoopers, in its latest entertainment and media outlook study, projects that figure to grow at a 22% compound annual rate to $19.2 billion in 2018.