Latitude and MTV Networks Uncover the Meaning Behind People's Addiction to Apps

A new study by MTV Networks and research partner, Latitude, found that 83 percent of users are feeling ‘addicted to apps’ and pinpointed three fundamental ways that apps are changing people's lives for the better. Read more about the findings from the ‘Love 'Em or Leave 'Em: Adoption, Abandonment and the App-Addled Consumer’ study at http://www.latd.com/2011/06/27/3-ways-mobile-apps-are-changing-the-way-we-live-a-study-by-mtv-networks/.

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Our use of creative qualitative and quantitative techniques, including deprivation helped us uncover a simple shorthand for how apps are addressing and extending user needs and desires; essentially, ‘apps can improve me, my life, and my world.'

New York, NY (PRWEB) August 03, 2011

MTV Networks (MTVN) recently revealed the results from "Love 'Em or Leave 'Em: Adoption, Abandonment and the App-Addled Consumer," a thought leadership study conducted in partnership with research consultancy Latitude. The study investigated the underlying psychology and current behaviors surrounding app adoption, use, and abandonment for heavy app users, and ultimately uncovered top characteristics and features of a successful app.

The study included a round of initial qualitative interviews, a deprivation phase (normal app users were asked to go app-free for three days), and a quantitative survey of more than 1300 app-engaged smartphone owners between the ages of 13 and 64.

“Our use of creative qualitative and quantitative techniques, including deprivation, ultimately helped us uncover a simple shorthand for how apps are addressing and extending user needs and desires; essentially, ‘apps can improve me, my life, and my world,’” explains Neela Sakaria, Senior Vice President at Latitude.

More specifically, MTVN and Latitude found that apps are changing users in these three fundamental ways by creating personal moments, improving everyday routines, and allowing them to discover new skills and experiences.

1. Apps Create “Me” Moments: Apps allow intense personalization and hyper-focus, filling idle moments with on-demand “me time.” This growing expectation for offerings with a powerful, instantaneous “me focus” is making its way into desired in-app entertainment and ad experiences.

87 percent of participants said: “Apps let me have fun no matter where I am or what I’m doing.”

2. Apps Make Everyday Life Better: Apps are enhancing people's day-to-day experiences directly by enabling productivity and achievement of their personal goals – and, indirectly, through the resulting creation of free time, improved mental well-being, opportunities for positive discovery, and more.

77 percent of participants said: “Apps are my personal assistant.”

“Apps don’t have to relieve stress because it’s not even there to begin with; the problem is already solved,” explained Joe, a 23 year-old study participant.

3. Apps Open Us to New Worlds: Whether it’s learning new languages or overlaying a map of the sky onto some old-fashioned star-gazing, the possibilities seem endless as apps open people’s imaginations to the new and “magical.”

91 percent of participants said: “Apps expose me to new things.”

“We learned that apps not only provide small doses of fun, but also offer real emotional and functional value to people’s everyday lives,” says Sakaria. “People welcome the opportunity for apps to open their eyes to new experiences, skills, relationships, and even a greater sense of well-being. This presents a unique opportunity for content providers like MTV Networks and their advertising partners to extend the entertainment experience into deeper realms of relevance and engagement.”

As one young participant put it, “I probably wouldn’t be able to function if I didn’t have the apps that are available to me now.”

The study also uncovered the life-cycle that app adoption tends to progress through, helping to offer direction to mobile developers, content creators, and advertisers depending on their various goals:

1. Discovery
Word-of-mouth rules when it comes to the discovery and adoption of mobile apps; 53 percent of participants said that personal recommendations are most important in deciding which apps to download.

2. Adoption
For paid apps, price is the top factor. However, offering a free or lite version of the app for previewing can go a long way, with 49 percent of participants saying this was the most important thing to them.

3. Trial
While 38 percent of TV and movie apps are deleted within the first three weeks after download, 44 percent of participants said they check them several times a day.

4. Abandonment or Long-Term Usage
For TV and movie apps, users will hang onto apps that are easy to use (79%) and have frequently updated content (55%). The presence of better alternatives (55%) and lack of new content (42%) will drive a consumer to delete an app.

“In a remarkably brief period of time, mobile apps have come to occupy a vital space in consumers’ lives, meeting a variety of needs from entertainment to information,” says Stuart Schneiderman, Senior Director of Digital Research at MTV Networks. “Through this study, we revealed how and why consumers forge connections with apps, and what factors ultimately cause those connections to fade or endure.”

For more information about the study, see MTVN’s EVP/CRO Colleen Fahey Rush’s presentation from MediaPost’s OMMA Mobile Conference: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/15228927

About MTV Networks
MTV Networks, a division of Viacom, is one of the world's leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company's portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 400 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, AddictingGames, Shockwave, Neopets, Comedy Central, Spike, TV Land, Atom, and GameTrailers.

About Latitude
Latitude is an international research consultancy helping clients create engaging content, software and technology that harness the possibilities of the Web. http://latd.com

To learn more about working with Latitude, contact: Ian Schulte, Director of Technology and Business Development at ischulte(at)latd(dot)com. View an overview of Latitude’s research and consulting services here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/60662753/Latitude-Research-Engagement-Levels

For more news updates and research findings, follow Latitude on Twitter @latddotcom and become a Facebook fan at http://facebook.com/latituderesearch

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