Mobile phones have become so ubiquitous that there’s actually a new phobia called nomophobia, which is the intense or irrational fear of being out of mobile phone contact.

Dependence on our mobile devices is increasing daily. The gurus at Scientific American describe this as transactive memory. It’s our need to have reliable external sources of information about specific topics at our disposal. Professor of Psychology, Piercarlo Valdesolo notes that “When it comes to the acquisition and retention of information, our brains treat our devices like relationship partners. So perhaps it is not surprising that we should experience such distress when this relationship is lost because your partner has slipped out of your pocket and on to the movie theater floor.”

Germophobia and sticky cinema floors notwithstanding, here are six critical reasons why your media company needs to invest in mobile app development for your news, sports, weather, events and advertising content as you strive to boost audience engagement and increase overall digital revenues.

1. Digital news media usage time is rising dramatically, and it’s being driven mainly by mobile apps
The latest ComScore Mobile App Report finds that “Over the past two years, total digital media usage has grown 49% with mobile apps having grown 90% and contributing to 77% of the total increase in time spent.”

Smartphone apps account for 44% of total digital media consumption time, up from 33% just two years ago. According to the ComScore report, apps “already account for the vast majority of total mobile and mobile app time spent and are gaining share among every segment of the market.”

These statistics are consistent with the metrics gathered in late 2016 from a broad cross-section of global NEWSCYCLE Mobile consumers in the television, radio and news media industries. Analysis of data from 1,050 NEWSCYCLE Mobile apps finds that the average time in an app session is 3 minutes and 22 seconds, and the average number of app opens is 19 times per month.

Compare this to the time spent by news consumers on mobile websites, which is only 1 minute and 10 seconds per session. The average number of mobile web opens is only 7 times per month.

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