Exploring Mobile App Habits: The Hidden Leisure-Time Opportunity

Dec 21, 2022
By: Ravi Pimplaskar

Recently we released our 2022 Mobile App Habit report, which explored how mobile gamers used their phones beyond games – giving data on their behavior, motivations, and tendencies. Over the next few weeks, we’ll dig deeper into some of these habits. 

Timing is critical for mobile advertising. Brands search for the right mix that will deliver a message to the user at the exact moment when they need their app! For example, consider how Uber would want to be in front of users searching for Friday night dinner plans or how Netflix could spur downloads by being shown right after a flight is delayed. 

And while the moment someone needs your app matters, there is a massive opportunity in another moment – the one where users don’t know what they want. Whether we’re waiting for a friend, sitting on a conference call, or in line at checkout, our phones are basically interactive fidget spinners (remember those!) that we look to for entertainment. In those moments, we swipe through screens, look for red notification bubbles, or bounce through apps trying to find a morsel of content to distract us until the real world is ready for us again.

The Lean-Back Moment

Our Mobile App Habit report dove into the motivation as to why Mobile gamers play a game. The top 3 reasons (by far!) are basically because people are looking for something to do. In these lean-back moments, we are more impressionable. While in other moments our mindsets will be focused on accomplishing certain tasks – when we’re in a lean-back moment, our mindsets are more open to influences. And that includes advertising!

Discovery and Attention Can Make a Difference

Mobile gamers aren’t the only ones who commonly have lean-back moments. In 2019, Phoenix Marketing International introduced the term “Appnostic” – defining it as the state of mind that people open their phones without a predetermined destination. It found that 88% of all consumers actively engage in Appnostic behavior (and it’s likely that the other 12% are lying!). This is why On-Device Discovery has been so successful for brands. With app installs becoming less frequent the longer we own smartphones, it’s critical for app marketers to understand how these “outside the app” activities – like scrolling through apps looking for something – can help your brand capture attention. 

Capturing the Hidden Leisure-Time Opportunity

Discovery solutions smartly put apps on devices waiting for users to have a specific desire. And the fact is, these desires come daily when it comes to our leisure-time activities. Our guilty pleasures, like streaming content, social media, news, shopping, and even gambling and dating apps all dominate our lean-back moments. By placing apps on phones as dynamic preloads, on-demand through our Apps Select wizards, or curating a selection in our Apps Hub, these apps are ready and waiting for users when they have those “lean-back” desires. 

Games are a particularly popular guilty pleasure compared to other app categories comprising nearly 40% of all apps downloaded last year. And while this makes them exceptionally popular for discovery, they also are different from other leisure-time apps in that consumers remain in leisure-time even while engaged in a game. The most common time people play is when they are watching TV. The gamer mindset is still looking for that next thing to entertain – maybe even the next game to play! This is why in-app advertising, particularly rewarded video, can be so powerful in capturing attention. You have a captive audience that is literally still on the lookout for the next big thing they are going to engage in. And that can be your app!

Contact us today to find out how DT’s experts can help you capture the Hidden Leisure Time Opportunity through On-Device Discovery and In-App Advertising.

By Ravi Pimplaskar
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