Back on May 11, 2013, we wrote out first MLM App Prospective, talking about he future of the MLM App and Technology niche. Unlike the MLM Wireless Wars of 2010, I feel that the MLM App & Technology Platform space is developing with a stronger base, and several major differences between many of the companies leading the field, like Level 9 Marketing (Quality of Life App), RippLn Mobile Platform, ILA (Inspired Living App), and a couple more companies preparing to launch.
WARNING: If any technology company creates the wrong compensation structure to market their mobile app or technology platform, they risk taking a legally viable business model, and flipping it upside down into a pyramid or ponzi scheme. I suggest ALL companies engage a very competent Network Marketing Consulting and Legal Team before launching their company publically.
Mobi Thinking is a leading clearinghouse for information surrounding the mobile technology industry. It is through their research, and many other sources, that I have come to the conclusion, that the mobile app and platform industry is large enough for more than one company offering an income opportunity.
The stats below are part of a report titled: Global mobile statistics 2013 Home: all the latest stats on mobile Web, apps, marketing, advertising, subscribers, and trends… You can review the full report by clicking the link above and visiting MobiThinking.com.
At the end of 2012, there were 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions, estimates The International Telecommunication Union (February 2013). That is equivalent to 96 percent of the world population (7.1 billion according to the ITU). And is a huge increase from 6.0 billion mobile subscribers in 2011 and 5.4 billion in 2010.
Portio Research (March 2013) estimates: 1.2 billion people worldwide were using mobile apps at the end of 2012. This is forecast to grow at a 29.8 percent each year, to reach 4.4 billion users by the end of 2017. Much of this growth will come from Asia, which will account for almost half of app users in 2017.
• mobiThinking note: 1.2 billion apps users is a large number, considering that analysts estimate that there aren’t much more than a billion smartphones worldwide, and that apps development in recent years has largely focused on smartphones (mostly just one or two types of smartphones), but it is still only a minority of phone users. There are 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, according to the ITU (February 2013) – that means approximately 17 percent of mobile subscribers use apps.
Do mobile app users spend more time connected than mobile Web users?
comScore (May 2013): Some of the largest mobile properties in the US – including Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay – see app users spending considerably more time connected than mobile site users; others including Wikimedia, Microsoft and ESPN see the opposite.
How many mobile apps are there?
Numbers for total number of apps worldwide are hard to come by, but the Apple App Store (for apps that work on Apple devices) and Google Play (for apps that work on Android devices), are believed to be the two largest stores with over 800,000 apps apiece, according to Canalys. For more details, see: What are the largest app stores?.
• N.B. There are lots more app stores, than these two.
How many mobile apps are downloaded each year?
Analyst estimates for downloads of apps in 2013 range from 56 to 82 billion. In 2017, there could be 200 billion downloads.
• ABI Research (March 2013) predicts: 56 billion smartphone apps will be downloaded in 2013. By operating system: 58 percent will be Google Android; 33 percent Apple iOS; 4 percent Microsoft Windows Phone; 3 percent BlackBerry.
• 14 billion tablet apps will be downloaded in 2013; 75 percent will be iOS apps; 21 percent Android; 2 percent Windows. Android includes Amazon Kindle Fire, which will account for 4 percent of downloads.
• “With its vast installed base and the generally improved conditions for app building, ABI Research expects a growing number of smartphone-focused developers to adopt an Android-first strategy within the year,” concludes ABI Research.
• Portio Research (March 2013) forecasts: 82 billion apps will be downloaded worldwide in 2013, and by 2017 there will be more than 200 billion downloads per year.
• mobiThinking note: Download stats should be taken with a pinch of salt. Remember, there’s no way for a user to try an app without downloading it. So an app’s download stats remain the same whether an app is used once and deleted (which is common, see below) or is used five times a day, every day, for a year. When app stores rank apps by number of downloads, rather than by user satisfaction/reviews or active users, it makes it harder for users to find the best apps for them – this is called “discoverability” in the trade – thus making it incredibly difficult for new apps to get noticed, unless the publisher has a fortune to spend on promoting their app through advertising.
How much revenue do/will apps generate?
Analysts estimate that app revenues could be US$20-25 billion in 2013; this could triple by 2017; but app users are increasingly reluctant to pay for apps and the revenues are not equally distributed among app publishers.
• Canalys (April 2012): in Q1 2013, there were 13.4 billion downloads, up 11 percent from Q4 2012, creating revenue of US$2.2 billion (that’s before app stores take their substantial cut of the proceeds) from paid-for apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions (up 9 percent from Q4 2012).
• ABI Research (March 2013) expects: apps to generate revenues of $25 billion in 2013; $16.4 billion will come from smartphone apps and $8.8 billion from tablet apps. Of this $25 billion, 65 percent will come from Apple’s iOS ecosystem, 27 percent from Google’s Android, and the remaining 8 percent from the other mobile platforms.
• In 2018, app revenues will be worth $92 billion – at that point, tablet apps will be worth more than smartphone apps, forecasts ABI Research.
• Portio Research (March 2013) estimates: full-year app revenues of $12 billion in 2012, forecasted to grow to $20.4 billion in 2013 and $63.5 billion in 2017.
Who’s making money?
Increasingly the lion’s share of revenues go to fewer and fewer big publishers.
• Canalys (December 2012): research in November 2012 in the US, discovered that 50 percent of app revenues are shared between just 25 developers. Of the top 25 grossing developers – for paid downloads and in-app purchases, all bar one (Pandora with its Pandora Radio app) are game developers, including Zynga, Electronic Arts, Disney, Kabam, Rovio, Glu, Gameloft and Storm8’s TeamLava.
• Games dominate top apps. Games account for 145/300 of top paid apps on Apple App Store and 116/300 on Google Play. Games account for 94/300 of top free apps on Apple App Store and 110/300 on Google Play.
• “Discoverability is a particular issue in the Apple App Store and in Google Play given the huge inventories they boast. With top game developers’ content so prevalent in the stores, it can be hard for other good-quality apps to get the attention they deserve,” warns Canalys.
• Distimo (2012 Year in review, December 2012): a lot of app store revenue goes to a few apps. 10 percent of the revenue in Google Play and Apple App Store goes to just four and seven apps respectively.
What type of apps are most popular/abundant?
Games are the most popular type of app with the users. They also make the most money.
• Distimo (2012 Year in review): The most downloaded apps are games (33 percent); widgets (8 percent); entertainment (7 percent); social (5 percent); lifestyle; music; photography; productivity (all 4 percent); tools; communication; utilities (all 3 percent). Games also dominate app revenues.
• Portio Research (April 2013) calculates: top categories (by number of apps) on the Apple App Store: games (17 percent of all apps in store); Google Play: games (15 percent); BlackBerry World: books (15 percent), games (9 percent); Windows Phone Store: entertainment (19 percent), tools & productivity (15 percent), games (12 percent).
• The second most popular app category, overall, after games is messaging apps, also known as over-the-top (OTT) apps, according to Portio. It is estimated that there are at least 1 billion OTT messaging apps users around the world. The most popular of these are: Facebook Messenger (700 million users worldwide); WeChat (300 million); What’sApp (200 million); Viber (175 million); Line (100 million); Kakao Talk (70 million); BBM (60 million); iMesssage (45 million); ChatON (10 million); Skype (10 million).
How many apps fail? How many are downloaded, tried and deleted?
One in four mobile apps once downloaded is never used again.
• A study by Localytics (January 2011) found that many apps are downloaded, tried once and then discarded.
• “Tracking downloads is often a first step to gauging an app’s success, but download stats often provide an incomplete and inflated view. High download numbers always feel great, but if those customers never open the app or abandon it after just a few uses, those high download numbers are really part of a high churn rate.” – Localytics study (Localytics makes analytics tools for mobile apps).
So in closing I truly believe we will see more and more development of mobile apps and platforms in the direct selling and direct marketing professions over the next five to ten years. Some will be used by traditional direct selling companies to promote their products and income opportunities, while others will become the foundation of new marketing channels in and of themselves.
Living An Epic Adventure,