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Mobile apps outpace the Web and neck-in-neck with TV

New research shows that mobile app use in the U.S. rose 35 percent this year, which means people are now spending nearly as much time in apps as watching the boob tube.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

It looks like a four-year-old industry is hijacking one that has been around for six decades.

According to mobile analytics firm Flurry, the time people spend on mobile apps is now nearly neck-in-neck with time spent watching television.

"With new content released via thousands of new apps each day, we expect this trend to continue," Flurry CEO Simon Khalaf wrote in a blog post today. "In fact, we ultimately expect apps on tablets and smartphones to challenge broadcast television as the dominant channel for media consumption."

Flurry's numbers, which are based on data from more than 250,000 apps, show that time spent on mobile apps by people in the U.S. rose 35 percent from 94 minutes per day to 127 minutes, while time spent watching TV remained static. Also, time spent on mobile apps dominated time spent on the Internet with a desktop computer; in total, people used their mobile apps 1.8 times more than the Web.

This news comes as Internet guru Mary Meeker reported this week that 13 percent of all Internet traffic is now executed from a mobile device, up from 4 percent just two years ago.

Flurry speculates that tablets are one of the drivers of app growth. As more TV-style apps and connected TVs become available, Flurry believes the app trend will just continue on the up-and-up.

"Mobile and apps are gobbling up the web and consumer Internet, and that's where the opportunity is," Khalaf wrote. "And the opportunity has never been bigger. All around me, I see entrepreneurs living it, loving it and collecting it '99 cents' at a time."