Users downloaded over 175 billion apps in 2017, a 60 per cent increase from 2015, while the number of apps available across Google Play and the App Store crossed the 6 million mark, App Annie revealed.
On average, each user spent 1.5 months in apps in 2017, a 30 per cent increase on 2015, while consumer spend on apps was more than $86 billion, a 105 per cent increase. An App Annie representative explained the main reason for comparing with 2015 rather than 2016 was to have a greater range of data and therefore more accurately and clearly demonstrate any existing trends.
“Consumer spend growth will be driven by strong smartphone and app adoption in developing economies and apps’ ability to capture greater share of wallet in mature economies,” the company noted.
China led the way in almost every metric: some $1 out of every $4 generated from app stores, in-app adverts and mobile commerce is now generated in the country, the company stated in a report.
In Q4 2017, Chinese users spent more than 200 billion hours in apps, of which 90 per cent was non-gaming apps, with communications apps ranking particularly highly.
App usage also grew rapidly in India through 2017, driven by the introduction of subsidised, unlimited 4G access by Reliance Jio in September 2016. It is worth noting that in a ranking of top non-gaming app downloads by Sensor Tower, the operator ranked ninth in the category thanks to its MyJio app.
Consumer spending on video streaming across all markets registered triple-digit growth since 2015 as new apps, users and monetisation methods emerged, App Annie stated.
The view is backed by Sensor Tower’s research, which placed subscription-based app Netflix at the top of the list of non-gaming mobile apps in 2017.
However, App Annie stated subscriptions are still a primary revenue source and media apps are increasingly making use of microtransactions, where users pay small amounts to improve their viewing experience by removing ads, allowing playback of live TV or enabling offline viewing.
In Asia, viewers sending cash gifts to live streamers is a rapidly growing segment of the market.