Report: Mobile Apps Depend on TV Ads

appsThe fast-growing mobile apps category gets its traffic boosts from TV advertising, according to What’s App’ning.

The company is out with a new study that shows a 77% correlation between TV advertising and traffic for 60 popular mobile apps.

As a result, the category now totals nearly $1 billion in TV advertising. The report, issued by the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), is the third in a series showing the connection between TV ads and online traffic.

Previous reports found similar correlations for pure-play Internet and call-to-action brands.

What’s App’ning examined TV spending and app traffic for 60 mobile apps across 10 categories – games, ecommerce/retail, media, sports, tech/telco, financial, restaurants, travel, music and education – between October 2014 and December 2015, using comScore, Nielsen and Think Gaming data. Fully 77% showed a direct correlation between TV spending and app traffic. When TV ads ran, unique visitors went up 25%; when TV didn’t run, unique visitors dropped 20%.

The study also examined the degree to which TV advertising affected the launch traffic for eight new mobile apps. For example, when Blossom Blast launched in September 2015, its traffic was too small to register on comScore. Within a month of starting TV advertising, the app counted 2.3 million unique visitors. Similarly, Mobile Strike counted 1.9 million unique visitors within a month of starting TV advertising, and in April 2016 reached estimated revenue of $12 million/month.

What’s App’ning amplifies the findings of two previous reports on the TV-traffic correlation. Ignition Point found an 82% correlation between TV advertising and website traffic for 125 call-to-action brands in six categories (restaurants, retail, travel, telco/location-based mobile apps, financial and insurance). And What’s Driving Digital found an 85% correlation between TV ads and site traffic for 75 pure-play Internet brands.

“TV is the light switch for digital traffic,” said Sean Cunningham, President and CEO of the VAB. “Time and again, across categories, we find that digital products and platforms rely on TV advertising to deliver customers in real scale. And the return in sales is always exponentially greater than the ad spending.”