UTRECHT: More than 90% of the world's biggest brands are now using mobile apps as a tool to engage consumers, according to a new report.

Distimo, the insights group, assessed the presence of the 100 members of Interbrand's 2011 Best Global Brands ranking in leading app stores such as those run by Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon.

In all, 91% of organisations boasted at least one application in these outlets, a figure which had grown from 51% in a similar study published in 2010.

Disney led the charts with 636 apps across all the stores analysed, falling to 285 for Sony, 63 for BMW 62 for MTV and 61 for Cisco. Collectively, the featured corporations had a combined 2,343 apps, up from 1,631 last year.

Among the companies which have not yet leveraged the opportunities supplied by mobile applications are Burberry, Kleenex, Corona, HSBC and Moet & Chandon.

On average, the businesses tracked by Distimo had 24 applications apiece, and although this rating was slightly inflated by Disney and Sony, even without these firms the total stood at 15.

Elsewhere, only 32% of apps, provided by 27% of enterprises - including Adobe, Thomson Reuters and Disney - offered their parent company a direct means of making money through app stores.

Some 488 apps were linked to personalisation and 244 to lifestyle, and thus primarily based around leisure. A further 181 were tied to entertainment content, and 124 to music.

An additional 256 applications had business use at their core, with organisations like IBM, HP and SAP among the relevant players here.

Overall, 86% of the brands monitored claimed a presence in the iPhone App Store, hitting 66% for the iPad equivalent. Google's Android Market scored 59%, with BlackBerry App World on 26%. Amazon's App Store logged 14%.

By sector, the media companies in the study possessed an average of 247 apps, ahead of software manufacturers on 36, business services firms on 31 and automakers on 29.

"Global brands have realised over the past 18 months that app stores offer a viable channel to promote their brand, reach consumers, and for a subset of brands - sell content," the study said.

Data sourced from Distimo; additional content by Warc staff