- Daily sessions with news apps surged 59% from January to April as mobile consumers worldwide looked for the latest updates about the coronavirus pandemic. News apps saw a 37% jump in installs during that period, per information that app marketing platform Adjust shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The U.S. saw a 104% jump in daily sessions with news apps from January to April, more than other regions, while installs surged 53%. The U.S. gains surpassed the 69% rise in daily sessions in the Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) region, and the 44% rise in Japan.
- Global installs of news apps peaked in March as lockdowns went into effect in several regions worldwide and returned to pre-pandemic levels by May. Sessions peaked in April and slid by 13% by the following month, though they are still elevated from last year and the start of 2020, per Adjust. In the U.S., sessions only fell by 8% from April to May.
The jump in news app installs and daily sessions is positive for media outlets, though the coronavirus pandemic has dampened demand for advertising that is the financial lifeblood for news publishers. The apps' key need will be to maintain elevated levels of installs and daily sessions as fewer people seek news about the pandemic and find other content that appeals to their interests.
Among news publishers that report quarterly results, the New York Times last month provided a grim outlook for the current quarter. The company forecast a 50% to 55% decline in ad revenue from year earlier, though it managed to add 587,000 digital subscriptions to bring the total to about 5.8 million. Reader revenue has been a bright spot for the company as print ad spending declines and digital platforms like Google, Facebook and Amazon boost their market share.
Adjust's research helps to confirm an earlier report about Q1 app usage among homebound consumers. Business apps saw a 105% jump in user sessions and 70% gain in installs from a year earlier as more people worked from home. Gaming app usage also was higher for most of the period, and surged 132% in the last week of March as people looked for entertainment while stuck at home.