The number of apps downloaded by the “average US customer” has remained relatively steady in recent years, although a small number of heavy users are driving up the total, according to analytics firm Flurry.
According to the company, the average number of apps downloaded in 2014 was 8.8 per person per month, consistent with the 8.8 seen in 2013, the 8.6 per cent in 2012, and the 8.9 per cent in 2011.
But while more than half (54 per cent) of consumers are downloading fewer than eight apps per month, the average has been kept up by what Flurry tags ‘Install Addicts’ – consumers who download more than 17 apps a month across the devices they own.
This segment represents 20 per cent of the US customer base, or an estimated 32 million people.
Interestingly, these Install Addicts are mainly female – 53 per cent, with 47 per cent male. This compares with an average mobile consumer split of 48 per cent female to 52 per cent male, meaning that women over-index by this metric.
Install Addicts also over-index in the 13-17 (teen), 18-24 (student) and 35-53 (middle age) groups, while being under represented in the 25-34 (adults) and 55+ (seniors) groups.
And Flurry also divided the group by the ‘personas‘ it defined previously. Female Install Addicts over-index in the groups ‘social enthusiasts’, ‘mothers’ and ‘gamers’, while male install enthusiasts are strong in the ‘parenting and education’, ‘social enthusiasts’ and ‘gamers’ categories.
“It is becoming clearer to us that what we call family devices (or shared devices, or hand-me-down devices) make up a good chunk of the Install Addicts audience. Such devices are for the mother or the father, but the children (teens) have access (and most likely passwords) to them and routinely visit the App Stores and download their new favourite app,” Simon Khalaf, Flurry president and CEO, wrote in a blog post.
The prominence of ‘social enthusiasts’ was also highlighted, in that customers may be discovering apps through social and messaging channels – companies such as Facebook, Twitter, LINE and Tencent have all moved into app promotion alongside their core social activities.
Flurry looked at the percentage of apps downloaded as a result of app marketing (or app install ads), by dividing the estimated yearly app install adds market in the US by the average cost per install.
“Despite the fascinating growth of app install ads, the vast majority of app downloads are still organic”, it wrote – in 2014, 93 per cent of all app downloads in the US were organic, compared with 95 per cent in 2011.