It was a strong year for Facebook-owned mobile apps, but not so for some other top applications, according to a MarketingCharts review of comScore data. Each month comScore publishes a ranking of the top 15 apps by reach among adult smartphone mobile media users (iOS and Android platforms), with the top apps typically dominated by Facebook and Google properties.
What About Entertainment Apps?
comScore’s data shows that YouTube also gained during the year, growing from 54.5% reach among adult smartphone mobile media users in January to 61.3% in December. Pandora Radio, though, which had once attained majority reach in these rankings, remained relatively flat throughout the year.
AudienceSCAN found that 27.1% of U.S. adults said when they listen to music or the radio, they listen to Pandora. If they're listening to it on the app, it's coming from Android smartphones for 49% of listeners.
And while Apple Music increased its reach by almost 10 points during the year, that may have been at least in part attributable to a methodology change from comScore mid-way through the year.
Pandora Users appear to be consuming music and video any way they can get it, according to AudienceSCAN data. 16.2% of Pandora Users watch video from a local television website via their website or app on their mobile devices. And 16.1% listen to a local radio station via their website or app on mobile devices.
Top Smartphone Apps
Facebook ranked as the top smartphone app, reaching 78.4 percent of the app audience, followed by Facebook Messenger (64.1 percent), YouTube (61.1 percent) and Google Play (51 percent). Instagram continued to increase its reach, up from 33.7% to 39.1%.
Your advertisers could reach Pandora Users in these popular apps too. AudienceSCAN found that Pandora Users are 73% more likely than average to be active on Instagram, and 62.7% are on YouTube.
"Other leading social networking apps don’t appear to have fared quite as well," MarketingCharts staff wrote. "While Twitter remained in the top 15 throughout the year, it ended the year not far from where it started (24.5% reach in December versus 23.6% in January). And while Google+ and Pinterest began the year within the top 15 apps (with 21.8% and 18.9% reach, respectively), both were off the list by June and would not crack it again for the rest of the year. Considering that the 15th-ranked app in December (Twitter) had a reach of 24.5% of the smartphone mobile media audience, this indicates that both Google+ and Pinterest failed to keep pace with the growth of other key applications."
"Interestingly, while Snapchat made an appearance among the top 15 apps at points during the first 7 months of the year (with its 21.9% reach in July its top showing), it failed to make the list during the latter months of the year."
Speaking of Snapchat, AudienceSCAN research revealed that 20.2% of Pandora Users are active on Snapchat, and they are 98% more likely than average consumers to use Snapchat.
"With smartphone penetration having already hit high levels among teens and Millennials by the end of 2014, Snapchat’s absence from the list might simply be a reflection of a greater age diversity in the U.S.’ increasing smartphone audience as the year went on, with its popularity mainly residing with youth," according to MarketingCharts. "Even so, Instagram’s continued increase in reach during 2015 suggests that it did a better job connecting with older audiences, who have previously been forecast to contribute to its growth in the years to come."