Any other business

Smartphone and tablet app revenue to hit $99bn by 2019

3 min read

31 March 2015

Former deputy editor

The revenue from smartphone and tablet apps globally is set to hit $99bn by 2019, with the strongest growth in lifestyle apps and eBooks, according to a new study from Juniper Research.

The forecast of mobile app activity over the next five years found lifestyle apps, such as dating and mapping, will be prevalent. Indeed, online dating is becoming increasingly mobile-focused with a number of app-only services, such as Tinder and Happn, becoming more common.

In fact, the data from Juniper noted that four of the top 20 grossing UK apps for iOS were represented by dating apps – Match.com, Zoosk, Tinder and Plenty of Fish – in early 2015. As such, it’s expected that smartphone usage will drive most of the sector’s future growth as online dating is considered mainstream.

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Additionally, it was found fewer than two per cent of app downloads worldwide come via storefronts that are run by operators, now we’re in a world dominated by the likes of the App Store and Google Play.

“Operators have finally recognised that they cannot compete with Apple and Google from a content distribution basis. If they are to monetise content, that revenue has to come from bundling content into subscriptions or through leveraging the billing relationship,” said Dr Windsor Holden, research author.

Further findings revealed over 235bn apps are set to be downloaded this year, while Baidu is the second-largest app store behind Google Play. Meanwhile, just one per cent of apps are paid for when they’re downloaded, now that users have a multitude of options when it comes to access to free alternatives.

Elsewhere, app analytics channel App Annie has looked at the mobile advertising side of things. “Publishers and developers need to carefully evaluate potential business models, target markets and growth plans to set up their apps for success. With the right data, all these decisions can be strategically decided and executed,” the firm said on 31 March.

It found that that the App Store and Google Play combined and mobile in-app advertising each grew revenue by 1.7 times between 2013 and 2014.

In a separate blog on 30 March with the Internet Advertising Bureau, App Annie, said: “We’re encouraged to see that 68 per cent of the top UK brands are now embracing mobile and have created an app. We’ve long touted apps as a key channel through which to improve brand awareness, attract customers and drive sales.

“Apps’ inclusion in a truly multi-channel strategy, alongside offline and in-store channels, can dramatically enhance a business’ ability to reach its target audience and grow the sales funnel.”

Image via Shutterstock.