The mobile platform, meaning tablets and smartphones, now account for 60% of total digital media time spent according to comScore. This is a 10 point jump from 50% just a year ago. On top of that, mobile apps accounted for 51% of all digital media time spent in May 2014. Many of the content categories like radio, photos and maps are becoming almost exclusively mobile. Digital radio and photos both generate 96% of their engagement from mobile while maps and instant messaging get 90% of interaction from mobile devices.
You might be wondering, like I did, where do social networks come in since it seem like almost everyone updates their social feeds through mobile. Social is actually the #1 category for overall digital engagement taking about 20% of overall digital time spent and gets 71% of it's activity from mobile. It, social media engagement on mobile, has grown 55% over the last year and has accounted for 31% of all growth of internet engagements.
So who is driving the mobile app explosion? Teenagers. About 60% of 12 to 17 year olds had a smartphone in 2013, topping even the 45+ crowd for smartphone ownership, according to Arbitron and Edison Research. The app money makers are not the initial charge for the program but all the in-app purchases along with the ads attached to the app.
Mobile is clearly the new way we consume digital content and continues to grow. We are also interacting with specific apps rather than browsing and those apps are growing at an amazing pace. Today's infrastructure needs to be even more flexible, intelligent and resilient to handle the surge. And ultimately, the apps and the content/experience they provide need to be highly available and delivered quickly and securely to the person...just like any other typical application.