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Is the U.S. app audience primetime material for mobile marketers?

App audiences in the U.S. peak at 52 million during primetime (8-9pm) according to a new study by app analytic specialists Flurry. This is equivalent to audiences of three of the highest rated primetime TV shows in a good week and the joint circulation of the top 200 U.S. weekend newspapers.

The research centred on user’s monthly activity of the top 250 iOS and top 250 Android apps during February, plotting the hourly usage difference between weekdays and the weekend. Unsurprisingly audiences at the weekend were 25% greater between the 9am-5pm but perhaps what was less predictable was the audience number at primetime: both weekday and weekend users peaked at 52 million.

On the surface these findings show that an app audience is a prime target for mobile marketers. But in reality the app user base fragmentation can’t deliver a one-stop broad audience, compared to a hit TV show or regular readers of a leading newspaper. However, what it can provide is a more focused platform for reaching a more targeted audience.

While the app audience in the U.S. trounced more traditional forms of media like TV and print, in the digital world it is on a par with desktop and laptop users: Flurry measured 224 million monthly app users in February while comScore counted 221 million desktop and laptop users. If you consider the rapid growth of smartphone and tablet users – Flurry has estimated the smartphone/tablet install base will double to two billion in a year – the marketing opportunities in mobile are looking rich, even despite the fragmentation.


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