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Education, News, and TV apps leap to top on iPhones in September 2018

Nov 8, 2018 1:22:22 PM

Pixalate monitors billions of mobile in-app programmatic advertising transactions, and we constantly analyze that data to identify key mobile advertising trends, including which apps are trending at any given moment.

Per eMarketer, the average U.S. mobile consumer will spend 208 minutes (3 hours and 28 minutes) per day in mobile apps this year. Our trending apps report helps marketers identify some of the apps that keep their audiences busy.

As our trending iPhone apps from September 2018 reveals, seasonality is one factor that drives apps up or down in popularity. For example, DraftKings, a fantasy gaming app, was in the top 10 on iPhones in September, coinciding with the new NFL season.

This post highlights the top trending apps in the United States, based on display and video programmatic advertising volume, on iPhones from September 2018.

Key takeaways:

  • Seasonality plays a role:
    • Education (2) had multiple apps in the top 10 on iPhones for display advertising as kids went back to school
    • TV-based apps accounted for 3 of the top 10 spots for iPhone video ads as consumers geared up for the new fall TV schedule
    • DraftKings, a fantasy gaming app, reached the top 10 on iPhones for display advertising as the new NFL season kicked off
    • The Washington Post Classic app rose to the top 10 as people caught up on current events before the 2018 midterm elections
  • Games (3) had the most apps in the top 10 for both display and video advertising on iPhones
  • Only one Entertainment app was in the top 10 for display advertising, but three Entertainment apps were in the top 10 for video advertising


Trending iPhone apps for display advertising (September 2018)


Two Education apps (Quizlet Flashcards and Slader - Homework Answers) were in the top 10, helping students get through the first month of the new school year
  • DraftKings checked in at No. 10 as fantasy football enthusiasts got ready for the 2018 NFL season
  • Games (3) was the app category with the most apps in the top 10 in September, followed by Education (2)

Trending iPhone apps for video advertising (September 2018)


  • Three TV-based apps — TV Guide Mobile, TCLRC - TCL Roku TV Remote, and Viggle — ranked in the top 10 for iPhone video advertising as the new fall TV schedule debuted
  • The Washington Post Classic app was No. 8 in September, a potential result of more people seeking news in advance of the 2018 midterm elections
  • Entertainment (3) and Games (3) were the two app categories with the most apps in the top 10 in terms of iPhone video advertising in September 2018


Methodology and Disclaimer

Pixalate examined mobile in-app display advertisements sold via programmatic channels throughout September 2018 for this study. The data is based on activity within apps that engage in programmatic advertising in the open marketplace. Invalid Traffic (IVT) — including General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) and Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT) — were removed prior to ranking the apps. Any reference to "top" or "trending" apps refers solely to an app's Share of Voice of programmatic advertising impressions.

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