App Annie report highlights solid growth and opportunities in app economy

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Source App Annie

Time spent within apps increased by 25% to almost 900 billion hours throughout 2019. That’s according to the latest report from market research company App Annie.

The end-of-year account highlights the solid growth of the app economy, with global app downloads increasing 15% or over 13 billion downloads across the Apple App Store and Google Play stores.

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Almost $89bn were paid in revenues to publishers from in-app adverts and app store revenue. That’s an increase of 40% from 2015. Overall, apps generated $127bn in revenue – not deducting the 30% share the platform owners received.

Revenue figures include those paid to third-party app stores as well as advertising revenues.

Downloads were largely driven by China with half of the iOS App Store’s growth revenue led by the country.

India also saw some notable growth, surpassing the US as the leader in Google Play downloads and jumping from 3.5bn downloads in 2015 to 6bn in 2016. It’s smartphone penetration currently stands at 30%.

However, other markets that emerged throughout 2016 include Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Brazil.

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According to the report, apps have been disrupting leading industries such as banking, retail and entertainment. For example, financial apps have grown in popularity as consumers are finding it more convenient to make transactions and payments on the go and 24/7. Venmo, the free digital wallet app’s monthly user base doubled between October 2015 to October 2016.

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When it comes to entertainment, streaming apps such as YouTube and Netflix saw steep increases in the US, China and the UK.

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In addition, mCommerce apps grew 30% over the 12 month period from 2015. France, Germany and the UK noted some of the highest jumps in growth rates. Black Friday generated over $1bn in US mobile sales and the average US consumer owning an iPhone has three shopping apps installed.

The majority of retail apps can be classified as either bricks-and-clicks or digital-first, with Walmart and Target falling into the first category and Amazon and Wish into the latter.

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App Annie says that gaming also had a solid year. It accounts for 75% of all app revenue in iOS and a whopping 90% on Google Play. Pokémon Go alone raked in $950m in revenue throughout 2016. But importantly, it didn’t eat into the revenue of other apps, but simply attracted new users.

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The leading apps for downloads on iOS and Android were Facebook, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and Snapchat. The top five gaming apps included Pokémon Go, Piano Tiles 2, Subway Surfers, Slither.io, and Clash Royale.

In terms of revenue, Spotify led, followed by Line, Netflix, Tinder, and HBO Now.