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Apps numbers are all up: it’s the Gameconomy stupid!

revenue growth

Source: App Annie

Confounding the critics who said the download app’s best days were behind it, App Annie, the specialist online app counter and analytics outfit has just released its ‘Retrospective Report’ for 2016. That shows that app downloads and app revenue to publishers are still growing nicely, just as they have since the birth of the smartphone.

This year’s totals also show a global shift towards both China and India, which are both growing faster than everywhere else.  So apps aren’t going away, although the way people are using them is changing as the market matures.

App Annie reports worldwide growth in both downloads and usage, with publisher revenue growth accelerating over the past year by 40 per cent which resulted in a $35 billion payback for publishers across both  iOS and Google Play app stores.

But the bulk of the revenue isn’t just generated from downloads from the two big stores though - if you count up in-app advertising, app store revenue and third-party Android stores in 2016, publishers made over $89 billion in revenue as app downloads grew by 15 per cent worldwide across both major app stores. While the total time spent inside apps increased by a full 25 per cent. Last year the average consumer used well over 30 apps per month.

Other key facts from last year include:

  • Downloads increased by more than 13 billion, reaching 90 billion, across iOS and Google Play
  • India has surpassed the US as the number one country by Google Play downloads.
  • Usage, downloads and revenue increased worldwide, with total time spent in apps increasing by over 150 billion hours year-over-year, reaching nearly 900 billion hours in 2016.

App Annie says apps have been a way in for organisations seeking to ‘disrupt’ industries such as banking, but as the alternatives closed in, the incumbents were quick to launch apps of their own. It points out that monthly active app users for the top four US retail banking apps have exceeded those of the top fintech apps. Clearly disruption ain’t what it used to be. Dis-disruption or counter-disruption seems finally to be something that the disrupted have got to grips with.

top-e 3 ios countries

Source: App Annie

Fun and Games

But the real app action was, as always, in entertainment and games.  Youtube  was the leading streaming app for active users in the US and UK, but Netflix led the way in both countries for App Store revenue.  And games are still the big revenue earner, this year more than ever thanks to Pokemon GO which not only sold by the bucket-load but brought non-gamers into gaming where they promptly bought more games and generated more revenue.

And of course it’s games that simply dominate the whole scene - as it always has been since the birth of the home computer about 35 years ago. App Annie reports that games generate far and away the most  revenue - iOS games accounted for 75 per cent of Apple’s App Store revenue and Google Play’s games accounted for 90 per cent of Google’s Play Store revenue. It wasn’t called Play Store for nothing.

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