Canada’s app nation: Yes to music, no to games

A new examination of Canada and our mobile app usage by Flurry from Yahoo finds Canadians like our music but we’re not much for games.

Flurry from Yahoo’s analysis of Canadian mobile usage was based on activity across 92,000 Canadian Android and iOS devices in March 2015 gathered by Flurry Analytics and ComScore. And it did show some similarities to our U.S. cousins in that we love our apps. We spend some 86 per cent of our mobile device time on apps, compared to 14 per cent in our mobile browsers – same as in the U.S.

We spend the most time in messaging and social apps, particularly Facebook, which sucked up 22 per cent of our mobile device usage. We spent 16 per cent of our time in music, media and entertainment apps, double the U.S. figure, making Canada a great test market for apps in this category. On the flip side, while Americans spent 32 per cent of their mobile time playing games, in Canada the figure was just 14 per cent.

“Game developers should perhaps take note: if you can create a sticky game in Canada, you’ve likely got a hit on your hands as it’s a tough crowd for games,” wrote Flurry’s Vidya Subramanian in a blog.


From March 2014 to March 2015, mobile session growth in Canada was 26 per cent, with four categories growing 2.5x faster than the others: health and fitness, sports, finance, utilities and productivity. On the flipside, in a disappointment to retailers, the lifestyle and shopping category actually shrunk by three per cent in the same period, showing mobile commerce is not yet taking off in Canada.

Perhaps phablets will get us shopping and playing more games. The report showed that Canadians are adopting phablets with 14 per cent now owning one, although we’re off the global pace of 20 per cent adoption. It is on par though with our full-sized tablet adoption.


The larger form factor undoubtedly lends itself to a better consumer experience with media – from hockey to news to video to games,” wrote Subramanian. “Given the significant amount of time Canadians already spend in music, media and entertainment apps, along with the growth of session activity in sports apps, it would not be surprising to see phablet adoption continue to rise in Canada.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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