Distimo analysed the emerging app markets of Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Turkey, noting that “all developers that develop for multiple markets should keep an eye on those countries, as they showed strong growth during the past year, and are likely to continue or even accelerate their growth.”
The company noted that while growth of Asian app markets has not slowed, with half of the top-ten fastest growing global territories coming from this region, the four countries selected offer higher year-on-year revenue growth than many other markets, including the US. Across the quartet, the top 200 highest grossing iPhone apps generated a combined US$160,000 in revenue every day during May 2012.
According to Distimo, after several East Asian markets, the four are the fastest growing in terms of revenue generated in the Apple App Store for iPhone, with yearly growth rates between 54 percent and 115 percent. Since September 2011, growth in revenue from iPad apps grew between 76 percent and 91 percent across the group.
It also noted that in Russia revenue growth for the Google Play store is 250 percent – more than twice that of the US.
The company said that from the last twelve months, “one of the most remarkable observations…is the high growth of revenue in Brazil during April 2012.” It noted this was because there were no games available in this market before this point, with the subsequent launch seeing revenue increasing by more than 80 percent – making Brazil the top revenue generating app store market in Latin America.
Mexico is the second largest Latin American market, while also presenting one of the largest growth markets. Distimo said that revenue “moved almost exactly in line with the US,” although in May 2012, when there was a drop in “almost all” stores worldwide, this country was less affected.
Turkey and Russia offered the most consistent growth of the four, and since September 2011, have delivered month-on-month growth “almost continuously,” unlike other markets which have seen variations.
For the iPad, it was noted that “the results in the four emerging countries are even more remarkable.” Since September 2011 – the iPad store was not available in some markets studied before this date – Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Turkey have been among the top seven fastest growing markets in terms of revenue, joined by South Korea, Australia and Canada.
Growth rates range from 76 percent (Russia) to 91 percent (Brazil), ahead of all East Asian markets apart from South Korea.
Distimo said that freemium apps generate more than half of the revenue for the top 200 iPhone titles in Russia and Turkey, compared with 66 percent for the US. However, in Brazil and Mexico this approach is less successful, with 40 percent of revenue still generated by paid apps with no in-app purchases – compared with 13 percent in the US.
The ratio of paid apps to free titles was most favourable for developers in Mexico, with 5.9 titles purchased for every 100 downloaded free. In Turkey it is most difficult to sell products – only two apps are bought for every 100 free.
In contrast, in the US market, 7.5 apps are bought per 100 free downloads.
Developers will need to keep these differences in mind when targeting the various markets, it was noted.
There is a preference for localised content when compared to the top titles in the US iPhone store, with “only a small proportion of the most successful applications in a country also successful in the US.”
Unsurprisingly, Mexico is the market closest to the US in terms of cross-over, with 43 percent of the 200 highest grossing apps in this country also among the 200 highest grossing apps in the US. In contrast, only 28 percent of the apps in the top rankings in Turkey also feature in the US charts, “which reveals the strong local preferences of this country.”
Interestingly, while 70 percent of revenue in Russia came from apps in the local language, this compared with only 30 percent for local language apps in Turkey. However, only 2 percent of apps in the iPhone store for this country are available in Turkish, which may account for the lower revenue share.
Distimo argued: “when comparing the proportion of revenue generated by apps in the local language with the availability of apps in their local language, it shows that consumers are keen to download the apps that are available in their local language.”
In all countries, Games is the category that generates the most revenue, with Entertainment also scoring strongly across-the-board. But there are some regional discrepancies: in Brazil, navigation comes second in revenue terms, although this category ranked ninth in Mexico. And in Russia the books category was in fourth place, compared with bottom-four rankings in Turkey and Brazil.