/Arnel Hasanovic from Unsplash

S’poreans log nearly 5 hours daily on apps in 2023

Last year, Singaporeans averaged 4.51 hours. Higher than 2022’s 4.43 hours.

Singaporeans spent more time on their phones last year compared to the past four years, with an average of 4.51 hours daily, results from data.ai showed.

In comparison, previous daily averages were 4.43 hours (2022), 4.30 hours (2021), and 4.17 hours (2020). The recent average is not far from the weighted average of 5.0 hours, which jumped 6% from 2022 – marking an all-time high.

Overall state of mobile usage

Consumer spending on mobile apps increased to $171b in 2023, showing a 3% year-over-year (YoY) growth, data.ai said in its latest State of Mobile 2024 report.

In 2023, the weighted average time spent across the top 10 markets analysed exceeded 5 hours, marking a 6% increase from 2022 and setting a new record of 5.1 trillion hours total.

Indonesia led the pack with users spending over 6.0 hours per day on mobile apps. Additionally, Thailand, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil joined the list of countries where users spent over 5.0 hours per day on mobile apps in 2023.

Notably, the fastest growth in time spent occurred in Japan, Australia, and Canada, with increases of 18%, 16%, and 16%, respectively, marking the highest growth rates since 2020.

ALSO READ: Games fuel mobile spending in Singapore

What do users do on their phones?

However, app downloads saw a minimal rise, maintaining a steady figure at around 257 billion (+1% YoY). 

The report shows a shift in apps, particularly non-gaming ones, driving consumer spending. This category saw an 11% YoY increase, reaching $64b.  Social apps, notably those involved in the creator economy, are pioneering new monetization strategies beyond traditional advertising. 

TikTok, with its content creator tipping feature, has notably surpassed $10b in lifetime spend. In 2024, direct consumer monetisation in social apps, mainly through in-app purchases, is expected to surge by 150% to $1.3b. AI has become a foundational element across all app categories, facilitating a new era of digital innovation. TikTok, leveraging AI, has emerged as a frontrunner in user engagement and monetization, positioning itself to surpass major gaming apps in revenue.

The sector of Generative AI saw a sevenfold growth in 2023, leading to the rise of new app categories like AI Chatbots and Art Generators. Prominent apps in this space include ChatGPT, Ask AI, and Open Chat.

Mobile advertising spending is anticipated to reach $362b, an 8% increase, driven by the popularity of short-form video and video-sharing apps. The mobile gaming sector faces challenges, with a 2% decrease in spending to $107b, although download numbers remain stable.

Chinese shopping apps, particularly Temu and SHEIN, have significantly penetrated Western markets, growing by 140%.

Social and Entertainment apps have seen considerable growth, with a 12% increase in time spent and a 10% increase in spending.

The travel sector experienced a rebound, with a notable surge in app downloads and growth in integrated travel, tour booking, and flight booking services.

The demand for real-life event ticketing apps spiked by 31% in 2023, significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, fueled by popular music fandoms.

The State of Mobile 2024 report by data.ai provides a comprehensive analysis of regional and category-level market trends, based on over 1.2 million apps categorized under their Game IQ and App IQ taxonomy, and enhanced by AI-driven market data.


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