The Key App Industry Stats and Trends You Need to Know - HIROLA
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The Key App Industry Stats and Trends You Need to Know


For the last few years, renowned app analytics platform and market researcher App Annie has published a year-end retrospective. In it, they look at the key statistics and trends that have shaped the mobile app industry over the last 12 months.

We’ve skimmed it for the best and most interesting bits, so grab yourself a nice warm cuppa and find out how the global app economy has been performing.

Smartphone Apps: A Growing & Maturing Industry

2016 was a year of real growth and maturity for the mobile app market.


  • Worldwide downloads grew by a healthy 15% year-on-year to 13 billion across iOS and Android
  • Time spent in apps was up by 25% to almost 900 billion hours
  • And app store revenue (iOS App Store and Google Play) increased by a whopping 40%.


Revenue’s Up


Over the course of 2016, publishers pocketed over $35 billion in revenue from the iOS App Store and Google Play.


On the iOS App Store alone, revenue grew by almost 50%, consolidating its position as the highest revenue-generating app platform. This increase was predominantly driven by China, which contributed to nearly half of its annual growth.


As has been the case in previous years, games are where the money’s at. They generated 75% and 90% of all app store revenue on the iOS App Store and Google Play respectively. And half of that revenue growth on iOS was from RPGs (Role Playing Games).


What’s more, that $35 billion figure is less than half of the total revenue generated by apps in 2016. Once third-party Android stores and advertising revenue has been considered, the total amount paid to publishers climbs to a staggering $89 billion.


Emerging Markets & Chinese Domination


The US market was left in the dust twice in 2016. India grew to assume top spot for Google Play downloads, from 3.5 billion in 2015 to more than 6 billion in 2016.


It’s noted in the report that the country’s smartphone penetration is still below 30%, and with the overall Indian economy set for massive growth, there exists an opportunity for even greater growth.


Meanwhile, China was number one for iOS App Store revenue, with its $2bn Q4 the largest ever recorded in App Store history.


It’s becoming increasingly obvious that if you haven’t considered India, China, and the Far East in your app’s growth plan, you may be missing out.


And as the mature markets continued to grow at pace, the emerging markets were hot on their heels. The likes of Indonesia, Mexico, and Brazil joined India in expanding at an incredible rate.

Major Market Disruption


The report also discussed the widescale disruption of established industries, from gaming and entertainment to retail and banking.


Both YouTube and Netflix contributed to a major increase in video streaming revenue, and the wildly popular Pokémon GO shook up the gaming industry by generating over $950 million.


And retail banking has been challenged to innovate or die, while major shopping events such as Black Friday in the US and UK, and Singles Day in China boosted shopping app usage and revenue.


Based on the report, 2017 looks set for even more unprecedented growth and innovation.


Download the full report by visiting App Annie here.


What do you think of these trends and stats? Are we in for another impressive year?


Let us know your thoughts on Twitter.