In Mobile Apps & Games

Note: this is an excerpt from our recent report, Leveling Up Your Mobile Game: Using Audience Measurement Data to Boost User Acquisition and Engagement. To download a copy of the full report, please click here.

Whether filling time during a commute, standing in a checkout line, or waiting in the doctor’s office, on any given day, the average gamer spends approximately 24 minutes playing games on mobile devices. According to Pew Internet, the activity has become a common practice among nearly half of all U.S. consumers.

Source: Survey conducted June 10 – July 12, 2015. Note: Figures do not add to 100 percent due to rounding Pew Research Center

However, usage is far from uniform from mobile gamer to mobile gamer. While the average gamer spends 24 minutes each day playing games, Heavy Gamers (representing the top 40 percent of gamers) spend more than 2.5 times that amount. Among Core Gamers (the top 20 percent of gamers), the average time spent with mobile games each day is four times greater.


Light use is even more extreme. Reflecting the nearly friction-free nature of accessing mobile games—easy to discover, download, and then sample lots of choices—Light Gamers (the bottom 40 percent of all users) spend a staggering 92 percent less time each day playing games compared to the average user.

While daily time spent with games varies widely among users, the number of games played on any given day is actually quite limited. The average mobile gamer accesses slightly more than one game (1.3) daily. The figure rises to just 3.6 games on average over the course of a month, despite the perceptually limitless choice of games available within mobile app marketplaces and the relative ease of access for sampling.


Considering the limited number of games all users play each month, it is critical that marketers focus squarely on the behavior of their primary user groups: Heavy Gamers and Core Gamers. These user segments express their ongoing passion for mobile games by playing more than five games, on average, each month.

Session activity aligns very closely to the number of games played both daily and monthly; Heavy Gamers play games at a rate 2.5 times greater than average players. Average session times follow the same pattern as well.


For mobile game developers and marketers who are seeking to increase loyalty among their most passionate players, attract users from rival games, or convert light or non- players into active gamers, understanding usage characteristics among Heavy Gamers and Core Gamers is absolutely essential.

What else can mobile game developers and markets do to attract new, loyal users? Click here to download the complete report, which includes key takeaways and valuable insights for the mobile gaming industry.

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