Global consumer spending in mobile app stores is predicted to increase 30% year-on-year to $110 billion in 2018, according to research by App Annie.
The latest predictions also suggest that games will account for the majority of spending with non-gaming related app spend catching up faster year by year. The shift is largely due to subscription models as well as a maturing app market.
According to App Annie’s forecast, China will be a leader when it comes to app store consumer spending. Meanwhile, time on Android is led by emerging markets including India and Brazil where continued smartphone penetration is set to boost Google Play downloads.
Given recent changes to both the iOS App and Google Play Store to boost app discovery through curation, App Annie predicts that such measures will impact leisure time apps and particularly entertainment-focused apps. Meanwhile, food and payment apps are more likely to see downloads based on word of mouth instead of discovery.
Curation is likely to boost in-app purchases as well as overall revenue for app publishers over the coming year.
Similarly, Augmented Reality (AR) may finally hit a broader audience in 2018. After much hype, initiatives by Google, Facebook, Apple, Tencent and others are likely to drive app developers to create AR-focused apps in 2018. Pokemon Go was only the beginning.
2017 has also been a good year for video. Entertainment apps noted consumer spending increases of 85% on iOS and 70% on Google Play. For example, the share of US iPhone users who have already installed a video streaming app has increased 30% between 2016 and 2017. Meanwhile, large players such as Netflix have announced plans to expand their reach.
In addition, mobile commerce has noted quite the boost over the last year. Android device users spent an average one hour per month within shopping apps in the US and UK. Meanwhile, South Korean smartphone users spent 1.5 hours shopping in mobile apps. It’s likely that mobile will drive a significant change in shopping habits.
Matt Miller, Industry Analysis Manager at App Annie, wrote:
Convenience is just one, but important, dimension where people expect apps to have a significant impact and it is a core theme that underlies many of our predictions for the coming year.