Japan the place to be for monetisation - Mobile World Live

Japan the place to be for monetisation

20 FEB 2014
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Japan, Australia, South Korea, the UK and US are the markets with the most potential for monetising apps, according to the latest report from analytics firm Distimo.

Data from Distimo AppIQ showed that between January 2012 and January 2014, one download of a top 250 grossing App Store title was worth $5.32 in Japan.

This was significantly ahead of second-placed Australia, which recorded an average revenue per download (ARPD) of $3.60. China was the lowest ranked of the top 10 countries with an ARPD of just $0.92 during the period.


In terms of devices, the iPad generated higher ARPD figures than the iPhone in all 10 markets analysed in Q4 2013, with the biggest differential in the US.  In Japan, ARPD for the iPad was $7.19 compared with $5.25 for the iPhone.

In general the proportion of revenue generated was higher for the iPhone, because it accounts for a larger proportion of the downloads.

Japan saw 91 per cent of iOS app revenue come from the iPhone with South Korea recording 81 per cent. Only Russia had a greater proportion of revenue coming from the iPad, at 54 per cent, although the US is also close, with a 51/49 split.

Looking at one app in particular, Distimo found that Australia returned an ARPD of $6.65 for ‘Jewel Mania’ in Q4 2013, whereas the figure was only $1.44 in France.

The price of revenue

In conjunction with Chartboost, Distimo found that Japan had the biggest differential between ARPD and average cost per install (CPI) with an ARPD of $6.34 and CPI of $1.86.

Australia also fared well in relative terms with an ARPD of $4.50 and CPI of $2.59, and South Korea, UK and US also saw a favourable split.

Italy had the lowest revenue potential with an ARPD of $1.61 versus a CPI of $1.47.

Freemium revenue share on the rise

Japan and China both saw 94 per cent of app revenue come from freemium apps in January 2014. South Korea followed with 89 per cent while the US was on 79 per cent.

Of the top 10 countries in terms of app revenue, Germany had the lowest proportion from freemium apps at 70 per cent. Paid apps had a greater revenue share in the productivity, navigation and education categories, which are particularly popular in Germany.

Showing the increasing proportion of revenue coming from freemium apps, the US saw 79 per cent of iOS app revenue come from the freemium model in January 2014, compared with 46 per cent in January 2012.  It actually peaked at 81 per cent in November 2013.

While the highest revenue share was taken by freemium apps, paid apps (with and without in-app purchase) delivered higher ARPD between January 2012 and January 2014, according to the data.

Japan showed a significantly higher ARPD for paid apps without in-app purchase than elsewhere but this was largely due to the high prices charged (around $18).

Paid apps were much cheaper in other countries but still generated higher ARPD than freemium apps.


Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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