IN THINKING about the past year in the mobile advertising industry and its impact on the App Ecosystem, I’m struck by how massively positive the data has proven to be. More especially, since some ‘experts’ have thrown out statements to grab our diminishing attention span such as, “The Death of the Smartphone” and “The Death of Apps“.
Happily for all of us though, App Annie’s recent retrospective report gave some genuine grounding to those of us who believe in a more evolutionary approach – and perhaps, that the App Ecosystem itself has a longer way to go, before it iterates into some kind of ethereal interface we can’t touch or even see.
In fact, the view from the App Economy trenches appears to be the polar opposite of the link-baiting doomsayers and futurists who believe that the “tech” has (somehow independently) overtaken the user on a mass scale. Indeed, App Annie further concludes:
“2017 is set to be another banner year for the app ecosystem. As technology and business models continue to evolve, apps will play an even greater role in transforming, disrupting and creating opportunities for companies and industries both old and new.” This year’s report highlighted the key stats:
- Worldwide downloads exceeded 90 billion, an increase of more than 13 billion across the iOS App Store and Google Play.
- Publishers were paid over $35 billion in revenue across the iOS App Store and Google Play, with China leading the pack. When we include third-party Android stores and advertising revenue, the 2016 total amount paid to publishers increases to nearly $89 billion.
- India has surpassed the US as the #1 country by Google Play downloads, indicating that app marketers need to focus increasingly on this and other hyper-growth markets.
Having read the report end-to-end, I tend to conclude that whilst we are living in an Instant World, be it in getting coffee or noodles or more frequently, digital responses – Consumers expect immediacy in everything. Therefore, app-based services that enable such behaviour, will be around for as long as people need their smartphones to engage with them. Which for the year ahead at least, they still seem to require, every minute of every day, in (almost) every country. The proof? “Total time spent in apps worldwide increased by over 150 billion hours’ year over year, reaching nearly 900 billion hours in 2016.”!
So, changing the way people do this, will likely take more time and yes, it won’t be instant. Therefore, App Annie can confidently predict the future for us, in that “the global revenue opportunity for mobile app publishers is forecast to grow to $189 billion by 2020”.
So, anyway, whilst we all begin to play with messenger chat-bots, instant apps and voice-based Artificial Intelligence (AI), let’s also get back to thinking about the bright future for Apps in 2017.