Skift Take

Utility during users' daily lives trumps specialized travel usage, time and again, and yet travel startups focus on occasional leisure travelers and hope to scale based on that. Data tell you otherwise.

Great new data from Nielsen on mobile travel usage during summer, specifically June this year. For travel info, Android and iOS users in the U.S. spent 95 percent of their time accessing travel services via apps, compared to 5 percent from mobile Web.

This discrepancy was largely driven by Google Maps which accounted for 78 percent of all mobile time spent on travel. Which of course is going to be challenged in coming months as Apple launches its mobile mapping service on iOS.

Usage of mobile apps depends on category within travel as well: Cruise Lines category was exclusively accessed through the mobile Web, while 98 percent of time spent browsing map/navigation information was through an app. Which probably means not tons of great apps exist in the former, and of course great apps (read Google) in mapping category. Chart below shows the distribution across categories.

Other trend which spell trouble for traditional travel startups focusing on social, inspirations and variations on those themes: apps that dominate travel charts are more utility based that work as part of users’ daily lives, not just when they’re traveling. Hence this chart below makes sense:


Meanwhile, occasional/leisure use in travel is mainly done through mobile Web, trends show, which also explains the chart below:

Techcrunch has a different interpretation of these numbers, but informative nonetheless.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Up Next

Loading next stories