iOS Versus TV: Social Gaming FTW?

It’s sort of an Apple (s aapl) to oranges type of situation, but a report by analytics firm Flurry nonetheless shows the market potential represented by at least one type of iOS gaming. Social gaming is now arguably as popular as professional football is on any given Sunday.

According to Peter Farago of Flurry, social games can now be considered real competitors to television viewing, comprising “a daily audience of more than 19 million who spend over 22 minutes per day using these apps.” Comparing that group to television viewing audiences puts social gamers somewhere between Sunday Night Football and Dancing with the Stars, and about 4 million “viewers” away from the top-rated America Idol.

Farago is quick to point out that Flurry only measures around 20 percent of the 250,000 apps currently available for the iOS platform, and since Flurry only measures social networking and gaming apps, it’s likely the true size of the gaming “audience” is much larger. According to, the number of games currently found in the App Store is around 40,000.

However, it should be pointed out that planting crops in FarmVille and watching football are not necessarily mutually exclusive. For that matter, those 22 minutes a day are arguably just as likely “saved” minutes that might be lost waiting in line, between classes, or on break at work. A dedicated television audience really is a different beast altogether.

The idea that advertisers might be better off spending their money in apps than on television is, as yet, far from proven, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a good indicator that we might be on that path.

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