Forget Sunday Night Football, Viewers Pile Into iPhone's Social Apps

What does The Mentalist, NCIS Los Angeles, Sunday Night Football and CBS Undercover Boss have in common? None of them are as popular as iPhone’s social games on the Flurry network. These apps have a daily audience of 19 million viewers and are averaging more than 22 minutes per day. Let those numbers sink in, and then remember— that’s just on the Flurry Network.

In a post titled, “Is iPhone The Next American Idol,” Flurry lays down some intriguing stats on the rise in popularity of iOS social apps. Astonishingly, as Flurry points out, their network only represents a fraction of the larger picture, just about 25%. Flurry reaches 50,000 apps— versus the 250,000 iPhone apps out in the wild. “Additionally, since this analysis focuses on only two categories of applications, social games and social networking apps, it’s clear that iOS devices are already ahead of prime time television’s hottest shows,” Flurry’s Peter Farago says in his post.

Obviously, there is some possible overlap here— why not play an iPhone game during Sunday Night Football halftime or during Mentalist commercial breaks? I don’t see American Idol going up in smoke overnight— just because more people are playing Angry Birds or logging into Facebook. However, the real issue embedded in these stats— and the reason why television programs should watch their back— is how these surging iPhone app engagement numbers will continue to influence ad dollars. Please don’t cancel Glee (even though the first two episodes of this season were awful).