While football fans looking to supplement their Super Bowl Sunday with mobile apps were amply served, quite a few of us were surprised by the news released by Flurry Analytics last week regarding mobile app usage and the Big Game. The data hint at methods app developers will be able to exploit in the future to create products to supplement the viewing experience. Just as importantly, the numbers show that even at a spry fifty-three years of age, when Madonna struts her stuff she’s still able to make us turn off our mobile phones and gawk.
Flurry’s analysis of app usage during the Super Bowl underlined the growing popularity of what are known as “second screen” apps. We’re not talking about the millions of us who try to get that third star on Angry Birds while we’re waiting for the commercials to finish, but rather about apps that are specifically tailored to complement the television viewing experience. Apps like GetGlue, for example, are designed to transform activities like watching television or reading a book into a social networking experience, but when it comes to mega-events like the Super Bowl, second-screen apps provide users with trivia, contests, and additional streaming to enrich the experience. The wildly popular Shazam very profitably exploited second-screen functionality on Super Bowl Sunday and we expect that trend to continue.
While most of us were definitely using our mobile apps during the game, Flurry drew conclusions about those moments when we weren’t. A report from 148Apps noted that the Flurry data are a “a goldmine for advertisers as it also breaks down which commercials drove the most users to waste time on their phones and which managed to hold viewer attention.” And perhaps unsurprisingly, app usage diminished considerably during the last minutes of the fourth quarter, when many of us stopped to ask – aloud – how insulted the Giant’s defense must have felt when Manning tried not to score for fear that Brady and company might march eighty yards unmolested in the remaining minute.
And Madonna, of course…there’s now scientific proof that we’ll drop everything to watch Madonna.