Mobile app downloads to double by 2016
Juniper Research has found that consumer app downloads to mobile devices are expected to reach more than 66 billion per annum by 2016, more than double the 31 billion that occurred in 2011.
The report found that the overwhelming majority of apps - 87% -- will be downloaded free of charge throughout the forecast period, but publisher revenues will increasingly be derived from post-download opportunities such as content subscriptions and virtual item sales. Growth will continue to be driven primarily by smartphones, although by 2016 nearly one in four downloads will occur on a tablet.
The new report, ‘Mobile Apps Stores: Future Business Models & Ecosystem Analysis 2012-2016', also emphasised the role that apps are playing as part of a brand customer acquisition and retention strategy.
ccording to report author Dr Windsor Holden: "Consumers are now demanding 24/7 access to services - retail, financial, information, entertainment - wherever they are. As a result, brands that wish to remain competitive have turned to apps as part of an integrated multichannel distribution system: they have become a critical mechanism to increase engagement and reduce churn."
However, the report also noted that within an increasingly congested app space, content publishers need to derive far more information about consumer usage patterns from their delivery partners, thereby enabling them to optimise billing on current and future propositions. With this in mind, the report called for publishers to partner with players in the payments space that can offer real-time reporting and analysis of user behaviour patterns prior to - and post - the point of billing.
The report added that games will continue to be the most popular consumer app category throughout the forecast period, followed by Multimedia.