It’s a hard time for publisher apps. There was more evidence of that last week when The New York Times announced it would shut down NYT Now, after the 2-year-old app failed to take off as hoped.
But other publishers aren’t throwing in the towel just yet. Women’s news and lifestyle site Bustle says it’s more than happy with the performance of its year-old app. It’s hard to train readers to use a new mobile app, and Bustle only has 20,000 to 25,000 daily active users out of 350,000 downloads. But at a time when publishers worry they’re too dependent on Facebook to reach their audience, Bustle sees its app as a way to connect directly with core fans, who average six minutes per session. That’s long in app time; according to a study of U.K. mobile users, gaming is the top category in terms of time spent, at 5.3 minutes per average user session.