Growth strongest in lifestyle apps and e-books
Annual revenues from apps accessed via mobile handsets and tablets are expected to reach $99 billion by 2019, new research from Juniper Research has found.
The new research found that while games would continue to account for the largest share of revenues for the next five years, highest growth would be experienced in areas such as lifestyle applications, such as dating and navigation, and e-books.
According to the research, a significant proportion of online dating activity is now migrating to mobile devices, with dating accounting for four of the top 20 grossing UK iOS apps in early 2015 with Match.com, Zoosk, Tinder and Plenty of Fish taking the lead. The report argued that with online dating now mainstream, most net growth in the sector is likely to occur via smartphone usage.
Meanwhile, the research observed that navigation apps continued to buck the trend towards freemium and use a pay per download model, with many apps charging a high ($50 plus) one-off price. However, it argued that even here the model was expected to transition to a subscription-based model, with features including live traffic updates allowing for ongoing revenue streams.
Additionally, the research confirmed that while a few network operators still maintained app storefronts, these now accounted for less than 2% of app downloads worldwide. According to research author Dr Windsor Holden: “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.”
The report also showed that more than 235 billion apps will be downloaded worldwide this year, although barely 1% of applications are now paid for at the point of download.
Also, Baidu is now the second largest storefront behind Google.