As we wrap up a volatile year in tech, Verto Analytics revisits our most popular blog posts, charts, and Verto Index of the year. Streaming music and social media proved to be some of the most popular topics this year – and our research shows that these are also the same types of content that consume much of the time we spend online. Our research on consumer behavior on mobile devices was also a big draw for readers, as we took a deeper dive into understanding the evolution of user behavior and how it intersects with device use and multitasking.
What was Verto’s most popular content in 2017?
1. Most Popular Verto Index: Streaming Music:
In March, we looked at the streaming music landscape. Beyond Apple Music’s domination of the market, Spotify appeared on the verge of an IPO, and SoundCloud, despite its ongoing troubles, was still holding on to the #5 position in our list of most popular streaming music properties, based on monthly user numbers. Meanwhile, Pandora had just launched its premium subscription service, and tiny Tidal, which reported just 100,000 monthly users, nevertheless had an impressively high stickiness rating, indicating a community of highly engaged users.
Just eight months later, the streaming music ecosystem continues to be a challenging one. Apple has openly stated that it has fewer paid subscribers than its competitors (most notably, Spotify), but has been making big changes to its services to attract more users through free trial offers and an improved UI. Spotify still hasn’t IPO’ed, and is in fact expected to pursue a “non-traditional public offering,” which would allow the company to sell shares directly to the public and avoid the inflated initial share prices that have plagued other tech IPOs like Snapchat and Facebook. SoundCloud suffered major setbacks over the summer, when it laid off of 40% of its staff, appointed a new CEO, and raised a new $170 million round that many perceived a a last-chance bailout. And Tidal appears to be struggling as well – it lost its third CEO in March, and despite endorsements from co-owner Jay-Z and friends like Beyonce and Kanye West, the service has reportedly faced difficulties with user retention – especially among paying subscribers. Pandora shuttered its overseas operations to focus on its U.S. subscription service, which has been growing faster than expected, but the company’s ad revenue (and share price) have a less sunny outlook. All signs point to an ongoing power struggle in the streaming music landscape – can Spotify raise enough funding to compete with Apple’s deep coffers? Read the full Verto Index: Streaming Music here.
2. Most Popular Blog Post: How Is Consumer Behavior Changing on Mobile Devices?
In February, we explored the evolution of consumer behavior on mobile, as part of a larger report we published, Multitasking and Mobile Apps: New Ways to Measure Consumer Behavior. As part of our research, we examined how consumer behavior at large had changed over the past year, particularly in relation to mobile device use. We discovered that the average consumer spent an increasing amount of time online, and especially on mobile: between July and December 2016, the total monthly time consumers spent using mobile apps on smartphones grew from 6.1 billion hours to 6.9 billion hours. And what’s more, the time that consumer spent on mobile apps was limited to small subset of apps: the average consumer has nearly 90 apps installed on their smartphone, but only uses about 8 of them on a daily basis.
Nearly a year later, our original takeaway still holds: companies face the increasingly difficult task of vying for consumer attention across a growing number of devices, apps, sites, and services. But being able to identify where target consumers spend their time – on which devices and with which apps and other digital properties – is a crucial aspect to developing smarter and more effective engagement tactics. Read the original post here.
3. Most Popular Chart of the Week: Which social media networks are losing the most users?
In May, our most popular Chart of the Week examined the churn rate of five leading social media networks, such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. Our goal was to identify which networks were losing the most users over time – in this case, during the last half of 2016. And while Facebook proved to be the most stable, our data showed some worrisome indicators for Twitter and Snapchat, which both churned about a quarter of their users between Q3 and Q4 2016.
A year later, it’s unclear if things are improving for Twitter or Snapchat: while Twitter’s latest earnings report indicate that the company may be moving towards profitability, it’s still facing criticism for overstating its monthly user numbers and the potential role it played in the U.S. elections. And Snap is re-assessing everything from its business model to the design of its flagship app as it struggles with a sinking share price. Read the original Chart of the Week here.