Between smartphones and tablets, Americans spend more than half of their digital media consumption time — 57 percent — in apps, according to comScore’s annual U.S. mobile apps report. That’s about the same as a year ago — evidence that the dramatic shift to mobile has now leveled out in the U.S.
These are the winners, according to comScore, as measured by their penetration of the U.S. mobile app audience:
The big winners — surprise, surprise — are Facebook and Google, which own eight of the top 10 apps.Facebook took the No. 1 slot with its main Facebook app, which has 81 percent penetration of the app audience, is the top app for all age groups except 18- to 24-year-olds, and is the most likely app to be on a smartphone user’s homescreen (46 percent of homescreens). It also took No. 3 for Facebook Messenger and No. 6 for Instagram, which is tied with Snapchat at 50 percent penetration. Google’s top app is YouTube, which is the No. 2 app overall and the No. 1 app for 18- to 24-year-olds. It also publishes Google Search (No. 4), Google Maps (No. 5), Google Play (No. 8) and Gmail (No. 9). The only non-Google and non-Facebook apps in the top 10 are Snapchat (tied for No. 6 with 50 percent penetration) and Pandora (No. 10, 41 percent penetration). Now that Snap has gone public, all of the top 10 U.S. apps are owned by public companies based in California. All of these apps are free to use — which is a big factor in their popularity — and most serve advertisements. But YouTube and Pandora now both offer subscription services, and Google Play is largely an app and media store.
Not much changed year over year in the composition of this list — evidence that the biggest winners tend to stay the biggest winners.
Snap was not in the top 10 in last year’s comScore ranking (it was No. 13) and Amazon was (at No. 10). Instagram moved up from No. 9 to a tie for No. 6. The other apps are the same, albeit ranked slightly differently.
It’s still possible for apps to grow in popularity — Uber, Waze, Wish, Lyft and Venmo are some of the large, fast-growing apps not in the top 10, according to a different part of the report. But many of these core top 10 apps seem set, especially as long as Google-owned Android remains the most popular mobile operating system.