The data was collected by Verto Analytics using a passive on-device monitoring app on panellists’ smartphones and analysed by Analysys Mason‘s research team.

The data reveals:

  • the apps and services that are driving engagement
  • the role of cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity in driving usage
  • in-depth insight into activities such as video usage, social and communications apps and ecommerce.

Stephen Sale (Conf pic)Stephen Sale (pictured), Research Director at Analysys Mason, offers some insight on the unique research.

  • Entertainment is the dominant activity on a smartphone, in terms of both time spent (nearly a third of overall time) and data usage (57%).

Social networking was the largest single contributor to time spent on a smartphone (15% out of an average of 171 minutes overall). In the USA, Facebook was used for 39 minutes per day on average. Social networking is increasingly media-rich, which accounts for its disproportionate contribution to data usage (29%). Dedicated TV/video services, such as the YouTube app, were the second largest contributor to data usage (24%) but accounted for only 6% of time spent.

  • Data consumption was highest in the UK with an average of 15GB per smartphone per month, 85% of which was on Wi-Fi.


Average data usage on a smartphone was 15GB per month in the UK, the highest of all countries in the study. Germany was the lowest with just 7.5GB per month. Entertainment activities, including social networking and TV/video services, were particularly strong in the UK and accounted for nearly 10GB per month. The majority (85% in the case of the UK) of traffic goes over Wi-Fi, particularly that associated with entertainment services, which are used most frequently in the evening.

  • Video consumption is common among all demographics; video-friendly tariffs should not be aimed solely at the young.

Over 80% of panellists used dedicated TV/video apps, with advertising-funded services such as YouTube the most commonly used. An increasing proportion of panellists used paid-for services such as Google Play Movies (TVoD) and Netflix (SVoD). Millennials were the most intensive users overall, but penetration remains high across older age groups too.

  • Limited engagement with Messenger could threaten Facebook’s platform ambitions.

Average usage for Facebook Messenger was relatively low for a communications app. It was used for just 3.2 minutes per day on average in the UK, and 3.5 minutes per day in the USA. This is less than half the time spent on WhatsApp, and usage is not growing. These low usage levels pose a challenge for Facebook given that Messenger is the stated vehicle for its platform ambitions.

  • India’s ecommerce market is relatively mature, and Amazon and Flipkart lead the race to dominate. 

Panellists in India spent over 32 minutes per month on average using Amazon’s app, and 33 minutes using Flipkart’s. Both apps had nearly identical levels of penetration among participants, at around 35%. For comparison, Amazon’s app was used by 41% of panellists in the USA for 31 minutes per month. Snapdeal is the third-largest player in India, but the gap between it and frontrunners Amazon and Flipkart is substantial.