- Spotify, the audio streaming app with 73 million users in North America, was ranked No. 1 in a study of brand intimacy as apps strengthened their emotional bonds with consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pinterest and Apple Music came in second and third place, respectively, per an announcement that ad agency MBLM shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Facebook, Instagram, Pandora, Snapchat, Twitter, Airbnb, Uber, LinkedIn and Venmo rounded out the top 10 ranking of apps and social networks in MBLM's "Brand Intimacy Study 2020." MBLM defines brand intimacy as a measurement of the emotional bonds that consumers form with brands.
- The study found demographic differences among the brand intimacy for apps, with men tending to most prefer Apple Music, while women, millennials and people with annual incomes of $100,000 or less favoring Spotify. Pinterest was the top-ranked app among consumers over age 35 and those earning more than $100,000 a year.
Spotify's No. 1 spot among mobile apps in MBLM's ranking of brand intimacy may reflect the audio streaming platform's popularity as people become more reliant on their mobile devices for entertainment during the pandemic. That finding is important for mobile marketers that advertise on the platform's ad-supported tier to reach mobile consumers. The app is especially popular among Generation Z consumers that have ingrained audio streaming into their daily routines. About 50% of Gen Z consumers feel an emotional connection with Spotify, according to the study.
Social networks also performed well as platforms for connecting people with family, friends and colleagues while they practice social distancing to help curb the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus. While Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Twitter have formed strong bonds with consumers and seen increased usage during the pandemic, many marketers have tended to pull back from advertising on the platforms amid broader concerns about the negative effects of the pandemic on the economy and consumer demand.
While Airbnb and Uber are in MBLM's ranking of top 10 brands, the companies have suffered as the pandemic limits the ability of people to travel. Uber has worked to adapt to plunging demand for ride-hailing services by shifting focus to other services like its Uber Eats food-delivery app. The company this week added phone ordering in New York City and Miami to give customers another way to place orders outside of its app, Reuters reported. Airbnb this month borrowed $1 billion from investors to sustain operations among a ban in global travel, TechCrunch reported.