Global Consumer Spending on Apps Tops $101 Billion in 2018
Despite concerns over a slump
in smartphone sales, mobile analytics company, App Annie, have revealed in
their annual State
of Mobile 2019 report, that app downloads increased in 2018 by 35 percent
on the previous year to 194 billion. In even more positive news, consumer
spending on apps increased by a staggering 75 percent to $101 billion.
Much of this increase can be attributed to
the Chinese market which accounted for nearly 50 percent of global downloads
and almost 40 percent of consumer spending.
While Chinese consumer spending increased
by 140 percent on the previous year, growth in more mature markets including
the United States (70 percent), South
Korea (80 percent) and the United Kingdom (55 percent) also saw incredible
This incredible growth has taken the
industry by surprise with earlier predictions suggesting downloads would reach
levels around the 113 billion mark with revenues of $76 billion.
It’s also worth noting these figures were
able to reach record levels despite a nine-month
freeze in game license approvals in China which are legally required in the
country for developers to monetize their apps.
Although Chinese smartphone users top the
list of prolific app downloaders and spenders, they trail behind many other
nations in terms of the number of apps installed on their devices.
The average Chinese consumer’s smartphone
has just over 50 apps installed (of which approximately 30 are used). This
compares to more than 100 in the United States, Japan, and South Korea. These
figures are largely attributed to the high number of low-cost Android devices
with limited storage in use in the Chinese (and other emerging) markets.
Growth – Focused on Free Android Apps
App usage is also dramatically on the
increase across other emerging economies. While App Annie’s report focuses on
both the Android and iOS app marketplaces, it clearly highlights Android’s
dominance in huge markets like India.
Indian’s downloaded more Android apps from
Google Play than smartphone users from any other nation. Free downloads
currently dominate the Indian market, with social media, communications,
entertainment and photography apps most popular.
While consumer spending on apps in the
Indian market is low, the report highlights that the country is still
transitioning through an “experimentation phase” and suggests that monetization
will follow as “mobile habits
begin to form and users settle into their go-to apps, engagement climbs, known
as the Adoption phase.”
Highlighting the potential
for increased consumer spending via apps in India, the country is currently
seeing incredible growth in fast food (quick service restaurant) apps and food
A Big Opportunity
While these figures
demonstrate the long term health of the app industry, a huge market does not
guarantee for app developers. As the demand for apps increases, so does the
competition. This makes it increasingly difficult to position the right app in
front of the right people at the right time. Failure to do this will result in
less than optimized downloads and put additional pressure on your marketing
Digital Turbine works with
app developers to aid the discoverability of their apps across global markets.
No matter what your app does and who your target audience is, we can help drive
activations and engagement.
Talk to one of our
pre-loading experts today to learn how you can maximize your opportunity in
this rapidly growing global market.