Not enough app downloads. Is the app market done?

Anne Freier

In App Business. June 16, 2016

The glory days of mobile apps are over. Gone are the days when people used to download plenty of apps, experimenting with new ones as they popped up on the app stores. Now, app developers and publishers are finding it harder and harder to motivate people to download their apps.

According to comScore, the average US consumer downloads zero apps per month. Yes, you read that correctly – zero – 0.

The majority of US smartphone owners are not downloading apps on a monthly basis

Screen shot 2016-06-16 at 10.33.43 AM

Source: comscore.com

The truth is that people don’t need that many apps and are likely to own the ones already which cater to their demands.

But what does that mean for app developers?

Well, apps are still being downloaded. Competition is getting tougher out there as the market gets more crowded. Games are perhaps the category with the most flux in coming-and-going. Ultimately though, breakthrough apps will be a rare sighting in the future.

According to research from Nomura, based on SensorTower data, the top 15 app publishers noted their downloads plummet by an average 20% in the US during May 2016. That’s quite a drop.

US top app downloads decline

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Source: nomura.com

On a worldwide scale, the app market is still growing, but not as rapidly as it used to. The same top 15 apps above grew just 3% in May outside of the US.

The only exceptions were Snapchat and Uber which both continued a solid climb.

Snapchat downloads more than doubled the year over, whilst Uber’s growth rate was also above 100%.

Uber and Snapchat continue to grow

Nomura app downloads rates

Source: nomura.com

Yes, there’s room for new, exciting and most importantly groundbreaking apps, but it’s getting tougher by the day so be prepared.