Consumers spend more time on mobile, spelling trouble for ads

Flurry, a mobile application analytics firm, has published a report that U.S. consumer usage of mobile apps now exceeds web use in minutes per day. Flurry compared data it tracks from 85,000 apps with comScore and Alexa data on Internet use (a perhaps fuzzy bit of methodology) and claims the average consumer spends 9% more time each day using smartphone or tablet apps than old-school Internet windows — 81 minutes on mobile device apps, altogether.

Beyond this consumption shift, which seems inevitable given smart phones and iPads everywhere, lies scarier data for marketers. When consumers are using mobile, they spend the majority of their time on games or social networks that typically do not carry advertising — and only 16% of their time reading news or entertainment, the traditional channels that push paid marketing messages. Tiny screens already have less visual inventory for ad space; now, the modality of consumers has moved away from content that holds ads at all.

Ben Kunz is vice president of strategic planning at Mediassociates, an advertising media planning and buying agency, and co-founder of its digital trading desk eEffective.

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