Use of apps trumps mobile web around London 2012 Games

Jenna Berger, research manager for global digital analytics, Nielsen

We learned recently that 28% mobile users around the globe admit to watching video on their mobile device daily, so when the Olympics came about we wanted to take a look how UK residents were engaging with their mobile phones during London 2012 events.

In preparation for the events, London 2012 launched two official mobile apps and one mobile game, all available in the iTunes App Store and the Android Marketplace. The first app, called Join In, was promoted as a planning tool and the “essential companion” as a viewer’s go-to for information on the games.

The second app, called Results, featured live updates on results and medals, as well as athlete profiles. Positioned as a real-time tracker, the Results app allowed users to set alerts and push notifications to ping them when a particular event began. So were these apps used during the Olympics? Or did people use the London 2012 mobile site instead?

Nielsen has a nationally representative electronic mobile measurement panel in the UK of more than 1400 smartphone panelists. We took a look at our panelists to learn how people were interacting with London 2012 mobile properties. Our measurement period began the week of July 23rd and extended to the end of the Olympics closing on August 12th. Of all London 2012 mobile page views that took place, 80% can be attributed to apps. That number jumps significantly when we look at time spent, where 96% of all time spent using a London 2012 mobile property happened in-app.

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