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Culture

Mobile news app consumption patterns and how they changed during 2020

Source: https://apptopia.com/

Data Synopsis:

  • Digital-native mobile news apps experienced a higher increase in usage growth than mobile apps of traditional news providers
  • News-driven social media mobile app usage increased only marginally
  • Americans showed more concern for recent social injustice than for COVID-19

Dig Deeper:

With the COVID-19 pandemic and persistent social injustices Americans have been consuming more news. Using mobile app data from Apptopia we can see the number of downloads and sessions for these apps both within the United States and internationally.

Digital-Native Mobile News Apps vs. Mobile Apps of Traditional News Providers

Prior to COVID-19, mobile app usage of traditional news providers was in a state of decline and only worsening. From last July through January of this year Fox News and CNN average app usage was down 18.6% and 2.5% YoY, respectively. For the same period, The New York Times averaged growth of 1.3%, however was trending significantly negative. Meanwhile, digital-native platforms such as SmartNews and News Break were exhibiting YoY growths of 83.4% and 33.2%, respectively.

From February to June mobile news apps saw a significant boost. Digital-native platforms experienced growth across the board while traditional news providers painted a mixed picture. Smart News and NewsBreak saw YoY growth of 189.3% and 47.3%, respectively. CNN’s growth spiked positively to 55.4%, and Fox News was able to dampen its decline to -9.9%. After an initial temporary spike, the average mobile app usage growth of The New York Time’s barely budged to 2.7%.

However, when isolating the initial COVID-19 news spike in March, app usage growth trends converged. The respective category leaders, News Break and CNN, experienced similar peak growth centering around 110% YoY.

News-driven Social Media Mobile Apps

As social media has become an alternative source for news, recent events did not increase mobile usage as much as would have been expected for apps such as Reddit and Twitter.

Reddit had been experiencing a decline in its usage growth. From last July through January of this year Reddit saw its YoY growth decline from 60% to 30%. During the emergence of COVID-19 in February and through mid-May usage growth continued to decline to below 20%. However, as Americans reacted to social injustices, Reddit app usage growth returned to a sustained 30%.

Mobile usage growth at Twitter is widely known to have plateaued. From last July through January of this year, usage growth steadily averaged 3.3% YoY. As COVID-19 became a central focus, average usage growth only increased to 4.0%. However, after reverting to 3.2% growth in May, mobile usage spiked to 4.7% as America is standing up to social injustice.

To learn more about the data behind this article and what Apptopia has to offer, please reach out to Connor Emmel at cemmel@apptopia.com.

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Data is changing the speed of business. Investors, Corporations, and Governments are buying new, differentiated data to gain visibility make better decisions. Don't fall behind. Let us help.

DATA PROVIDER SPOTLIGHT

ForwardKeys

ForwardKeys is one of the leading travel analytics firms that provides investment firms with alternative and predictive data on the travel industry. Data is offered both on the demand and the offer-side of the aviation market.

Actual Air Reservations is an aggregation of flight bookings made via the Global Distribution Systems. Exclusive agreements make that global travel data is available, including regions that are generally difficult to track. This data contains valuable insights into the profile, behaviour, and impact of events on past, present and future air travellers.

Seat Capacity provides insights into the scheduled flights from 99% of global commercial airlines.

Financial institutions use this data for artificial intelligence and predictive models to forecast the performances of businesses. Combined, the datasets can provide insights into the financial health of businesses operating in the travel and tourism industry. This list contains companies like airlines, airplane leasing companies, oil companies, hotels and travel agencies.