2020 has been a tumultuous year. A global pandemic claimed the lives of nearly 1.5 million people, a worldwide movement emerged for racial justice, and American political division created widespread concern. With COVID-19 forcing unprecedented social distancing, the mobile app economy has also experienced radical shifts. App consumption has exploded, Gen Z is gaming more than ever, and mobile news consumption dwarfed that of 2019. And Apple’s announcements of impending data policy rule changes have upended an ecosystem.
The spread of Coronavirus in the U.S. has not only threatened the economy, but also the American educational system. After the summer break, all but four states implemented either hybrid or remote learning models. With some parents working or taking care of siblings, among other factors, would students engage academically? In this report, Flurry measures academic engagement by looking at one of the most common activities that directly competes with classroom and study time —playing mobile games on smartphones.
Mobile game usage in the U.S. has increased substantially during COVID-19. In a previous report, we showed that mobile game sessions surged by 21% after stay-at-home orders took hold, on weekdays no less! In other words, as people began to work and attend school from home, they also reached for their phones more often to game. In this follow-on installment, we look at what time of the day people are gaming during the week, and the results are surprising.
For this analysis, Flurry curated a sample of game apps and measured U.S. daily game app usage using the number of sessions across the curated game apps combined.
In this report, we evaluate how COVID-19 and social distancing have impacted the game app category. Why games? Games is among the most universally used app categories by all age groups, and serves as a bellwether to start understanding shifts in mobile usage behavior. We’ll walk through analyses that show there is a marked step-up in the number of people using gaming apps, usage has grown by an even larger factor, and that the largest growth is concentrated among Gen Z.