App Revenue Blows Past $86B Worldwide

Appthority’s Enterprise Mobile Threat Research

A new report shows that the mobile app economy is healthy and shows no signs of slowing down.

App Annie released its annual end-of-year retrospective report, finding that there were 175 billion downloads globally in 2017 – a 60 percent growth from 2015.

In addition, consumer spending has more than doubled, exceeding $86 billion, while time spent in apps increased by 30 percent, with each user spending nearly 1.5 months in apps per year.

“In mature markets, apps have become central to users’ lives,” the report states. “Early adopter behavior (as seen in emerging markets) has stabilized, while engagement and spend continues to climb as users settle into their go-to apps.”

While in most markets, the average smartphone user has 80 apps on their phone and uses 40 of them in a given month, those numbers vary depending on the country. For example, the average users in China and Japan have over 100 apps on their phone and access approximately 40, while an average user in India has nearly 80 apps and accesses over 40 of them.

The report also revealed that China is by far the largest app market in the world. In Q4 2017, Chinese app users spent more than 200 billion hours in apps across iOS, Google Play and third-party Android. Additionally, $1 out of every $4 earned from in-app ads, app stores and mobile commerce is generated by Chinese users.

“China is a tale of two markets. Tier 1 cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, and tier 2 cities, such as Hangzhou and Chengdu, have reached advanced levels of app maturity and are generating significant revenue for app publishers,” stated the report. “Lower tier cities and rural areas are still in the process of adopting mobile, resulting in explosive download growth and creating massive future revenue potential as the market matures.”

Coming in a distant second is India, where users spent nearly 50 billion hours using apps during the same time period.