If money talks, then the massive growth of mobile in Germany speaks volumes. Reams of recent research, and app market data shared exclusively with Forbes, underline the country’s pivotal position and potential as a powerhouse market for mobile marketing, apps and advertising.
Let’s look at app growth — measured in the number of apps and the percentage of revenues. Berlin-based app market intelligence company Priori Data tells me Germany is crushing it on both counts. Germany started the year with over 800,00 apps (840,280 to be exact) in January, a number that now exceeds 1.1 million with no signs of stopping. Downloads of apps by users in the country currently exceed 1.1 billion.
But the real news is app revenues. In continental Europe Germany leads the pack, accounting for nearly one-third of total app revenues, or precisely 632,313,164 euros ($752,065,350). France follows a distant second, accounting for 18% of app revenues, and all other countries in continental Europe (including Italy, Spain and The Netherlands) report single-digit shares of the app revenue pie.
The numbers add up to “cement Germany as the number one app market in Europe,” according to Patrick Kane, Priori Data CEO and Founder. But it’s a growth story that benefits much more than Germany. In his view, it’s an impressive increase that is a precursor to increased investment in Germany sure to support its burgeoning app ecosystem of companies, vendors and analytics companies. Against this backdrop, Kane tells me, Priori Data is soon to announce “a major market innovation” that addresses the growing sophistication of the German app ecosystem.
It’s fitting that Priori Data chose to share the data with me on the heels of Dmexco, the two-day digital marketing conference event and happening with 570 speakers well on its way to attracting a record number of 1,100 exhibiting companies and 45,000 visitors from 100+ countries to its doors in Cologne.
The event has come to mirror the increased growth and importance of the German market, which is why the Mobile Marketing Association in Germany (known as the MMA Germany) has timed its own milestone announcements to the show. On a global level, the MMA is a leading global non-profit trade organization with more than 800 member companies spanning nearly 50 countries, most recently Germany. Specifically, the MMA Germany sees its mission to accelerate the transformation and innovation of mobile marketing and advertising, and the technologies that enable their advancement in Germany and globally.”
Last year, the organization used Dmexco to formally launch the MMA Germany with founding members including The Coca-Cola Company; Facebook; Google; adsquare, a mobile data exchange; SAP XM, a next-generation integrated online media network; Smaato, a global real-time advertising platform; Telefónica, the leading mobile communication provider in Germany; and Unilever, which is also one of the biggest ad spenders in Germany. This year the MMA Germany announced a roster of companies to its executive committee. These include: Snap Inc., mobile video advertising and monetization platform AdColony; mobile measurement and attribution provider adjust; mobile marketing analytics and attribution platform provider AppsFlyer; and upday, the company behind a personalized news aggregator mobile app for Samsung smartphones. (The MMA Germany also compiled a list of some of Germany’s most notable app ecosystem companies and players.)
The growth in membership is aligned with the explosive growth of interest, investment and activity that has allowed Germany to rank the second largest market by mobile ad spend in Europe, according to research firm eMarketer. It forecasts Germany’s ad spend will nearly double from $3.5 billion this year to $5.5 billion in 2021. Significantly, mobile ad spend will account for the lion’s share of that ad spend, rising from over half (57.2%) this year to reach a whopping 79.8% of the total in 2021.
This dovetails with data Smaato released at Dmexco as part of its 2Q2017 Global Trends In Mobile Advertising report. Arndt Groth, the former PubliGroupe CEO who takes the helm of Smaato as President (news also announced at Dmexco) tells me mobile ad spending in Germany is showing “accelerated growth compared to its European neighbors.”
Digging into the data contained in the report, Groth also highlights that 98% of traffic in Germany on the Smaato platform in Q2 was in-app. That shows a huge appetite for apps and the brand interaction they deliver, he says. “And that is huge compared to other countries on the platform. (By way of background, the Smaato platform sees 19 billion ad impressions globally per day. Findings in the 2Q2017 report are based on an analysis of 1.5 trillion ad impressions.)
Do the math, and the growth in apps and ad spend show Germany, once the sleeping giant of mobile, is wide awake and on the move.