SINGAPORE: When it comes to downloading and using mobile apps, users in Singapore are top of the class.
At least that's what App Annie regional director Jaede Tan said, when he pointed out that Singapore mobile users install, on average, 115 apps and use 46 of these - the highest among the countries the mobile and data analytics company surveyed for its recently released The State of Mobile in 2019 report.
He also told Channel NewsAsia this points to a preference here for “unbundled apps” rather than super apps being pushed by companies such as Grab and Go-Jek.
He added that the findings from the report showed that Singapore is a mature market.
Mr Tan juxtaposed this with Indonesia, which is in the early stages of maturity. He said app downloads grow most rapidly in these markets as more consumers buy new devices and begin to build their app collection but are not necessarily heavy or active users. Singaporeans, on the other hand, have found their “go-to apps” over time and use them more, he said.
“Today, Singaporeans use apps for almost every aspect of their lives, from communicating to banking and insurance, shopping, transport and even dating,” Mr Tan said.
“Part of this (high number of apps) is also because we tend to see a preference for unbundled apps in Singapore, rather than super platform-type apps that bundle many different services together.”
According to the report, the top three downloaded apps for both iOS and Android operating systems in Singapore last year are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and GrabFood while the one with the highest monthly active users (MAUs) are WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.
In terms of mobile games, which App Annie studies separately, online multiplayer hit PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) tops the list for most downloaded app here, followed by Helix Jump and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. Pokemon Go continues to be the most used app last year though, followed by Mobile Legends and PUBG, the report stated.
Overall, App Annie found that there were 194 billion app downloads worldwide and US$101 billion spent on app stores in 2018.
It does not make available the breakdown by countries.
FINDING LOVE, DIGITALLY
The study also threw up a somewhat surprising finding: Singaporeans are increasingly spending on dating apps like Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel.
Tinder was third on the top 10 list by consumer spend, while Paktor’s 17 – Your Life’s Moments and Coffee Meets Bagel came in at 7th and 10th, respectively.
So, does that mean that the act of finding love in Singapore is increasingly moving into the digital sphere? To this, Mr Tan said: “Definitely.”
He said Tinder, particularly, had a “phenomenal year overall” and came in 2nd globally for consumer spend too. These dating apps, in general, have “unlocked the keys to monetisation through subscription over the last few years”.
“They have become the de facto dating tool in many countries around the globe,” he added.
Paktor subsequently clarified that its app is not a dating app but a social app offering live streaming functions.
The regional director also pointed to video streaming as a “space to watch” in Singapore, given that apps like Netflix and Viu, a video service operated by PCCW Media, is high on the consumer spend lists last year.
He said this category has had a breakout couple of years around the world, with the top five video streaming apps globally seeing their revenue grow 285 per cent and time spent on these growing 140 per cent worldwide since 2016.
“I think this is a space to watch in Singapore as well as local broadcasters and content producers will need to engage consumers with their content via mobile or risk missing out entirely,” Mr Tan said.