Mobile Apps Get Boost From TV Advertising

Mobile apps, among the fastest growing forms of digital media, depend on TV advertising to boost traffic, according to a study by the Video Advertising Bureau.

Apps have become a $1 billion advertising category for TV, and that spending is paying off. According to the VAB study, there is a 77% correlation between TV advertising and traffic for 60 popular mobile apps.

The VAB study—dubbed What’s App’ning, used comScore, Nielsen and Think Gaming data from between Oct. 2014 and December 2015 and found that when TV ads ran, unique visitors went up 25% and when the ads didn’t run, visitors dropped 20%.

“TV is the light switch for digital traffic,” said Sean Cunningham, president & 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.”

For example, Pet Rescue Saga averaged 2.5 million unique visitors when it was spending $1.1 million a month on TV, then dropped to 1.8 million uniques in months when TV ads didn’t run, a 40% difference.

The study also looked at TV’s impact on the launch of eight new mobile apps.

When Blossom Blast launched in September 2015, its traffic was too small to register on comScore, the VAB report found. 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 per month.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.