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Global app revenue and downloads hit record levels
October 29, 2017, 4:16 pm

According to leading app data and insights provider, App Annie, downloads and revenue from apps hit a record level in the third-quarter of 2017. New downloads, not including reinstalls or app updates, from the online app stores of Apple and Google reached 26 billion worldwide, a number 8 percent higher from the same period last year. In addition, revenue for App Store and Google Play app purchases totaled a record US$17 billion, a jump of 28 percent from a year earlier.

Much of the download growth is coming from emerging markets where smartphone penetration is still relatively low. That means increases in app downloads worldwide are likely it continue into the immediate future.

Overall, Google Play led App Store in worldwide downloads, having grown downloads by 10 percent since last year. The download growth on Google Play was heavily fueled by emerging markets, with the biggest contributor being India, where downloads nearly doubled from Q3 2016 to Q3 2017. Other Southeast Asian nations, in particular Indonesia in 4th place and Vietnam in 7th place, contributed to Google Play growth, with both countries showing double-digit growth rates year-over-year.

App Store download growth was up 8 percent from last quarter – its highest quarter over quarter growth rate since Q1 2016. This is largely attributable to China, which saw the highest quarter over quarter market share growth, followed by the US and Saudi Arabia.

Alongside the increase in downloads, consumer spend is also growing. In the third quarter, revenue from App Store and those on Google Play combined reached nearly $17 billion, up 28 percent over the year prior.

App Store leads in revenue growth, with consumer spend on the Apple platform being almost double that on Google. But both stores reached record levels of consumer spend, thanks to year over year growth rates over 25 percent.

China, again, is a major factor. It was the largest market overall for consumer spend and saw the highest year over year growth in absolute spend. South Korea, now at its highest ranking ever as 4th overall in consumer spend, saw the second highest market share growth.

Entertainment apps, and particularly video streaming apps, also had a strong showing in Q3, with worldwide consumer spend in the category up by 30 percent quarter over quarter on App Store, and up 45 percent on Google Play.

Apps are also continuing to capture more of consumers’ time and attention, with the total time spent using apps growing 40 percent year over year to reach almost 325 billion hours in the quarter. (This figure comes from measurements on Android phones only and excludes China, meaning it is not fully representative. But it does give you an idea of the growth trend.)

App Annie’s current forecast estimates that worldwide downloads will reach nearly 240 billion and consumer spend will top $100 billion by 2021.

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