Mobile App Spending to Top $110B Next Year

A new report says the app market is maturing, with users averaging two hours a day in apps and the share of non-game apps increasing.
Matthew HellerDecember 6, 2017

Mobile app monetization will continue to grow next year with worldwide consumer spend across all app stores increasing about 30% to more than $110 billion, according to a new report.

App market researcher App Annie also highlighted several signs that the app economy is maturing, with, as of October 2017, iOS App Store and Google Play offering more than 2 million and more than 3.5 million apps, respectively.

Users on average are spending two hours per day — amounting to one month out of every year — in apps and more than 40 countries will generate more than $100 million each in consumer spend in 2017 for iOS App Store and Google Play combined.

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According to App Annie, the growth in app monetization has been driven by the continued evolution of markets across the globe, including China, India and Brazil.

China is now the the top market for iOS App Store consumer spend and App Annie expects its growth rate in 2018 to “significantly outpace that for the rest of the world.” India and Brazil, meanwhile, “have large populations of people who do not yet own smartphones,” the report said.

“Continued increases in smartphone penetration in both of these markets will fuel future growth of total time spent, which will in turn lead to higher mobile commerce spend,” it added.

Game apps are expected to continue to account for the majority of overall spend next year but App Annie believes the growth rate for those apps will be outpaced by that for non-game apps.

“This shift, which has been largely driven by subscriptions, is a strong reflection of the app economy’s increasing maturation as the value that apps deliver to users broadens,” it said.

The report says growth will also be fueled by enhancements in the app stores’ curation and editorial content, which will make app discovery easier, with a particularly significant impact on apps that help people occupy their leisure time.

“These types of apps, which tend to be entertainment-centric, are most likely to connect with consumers when they are casually browsing through the app stores,” App Annie noted.