Steve Jobs walked across the stage and introduced the next generation of mobile devices in 2007. Fast forward to 2019, the Mobile App Market has quickly snowballed into a now $122B per year Abominable Snowman.
Being current with the latest mobile market trends will help you follow the money so to speak. Providing a guiding line on the moving target market and with extra arrows in your quiver to capture new customers and retain your existing base.
Recent 2019 mobile app statistics across all platforms don’t just underline how far we’ve come — they also help paint a vivid picture of where we’re going and the mobile app trends we’ll all likely be embracing in the not-too-distant-future, if we aren’t already.
1. App Store Consumer Spending Will Surpass $120 Billion Globally
According to another recent study, App Store consumer spending is expected to surpass $122 billion in 2019. To put that into perspective, that’s approximately twice the size of the global box office market for major feature films.
To put that into perspective, “Avengers: Endgame” will be released in April 2019 and it is likely to be one of the highest grossing movies of the year. Millions of people around the world will flock to theaters and it projected to make 2 billion dollars globally in a matter of weeks.
Hollywood would have to do that 61 times to match the amount of money people will spend in App Stores this year. The convenience of Mobile spending is obviously helping money fly out of our digitally managed accounts faster than ever, but why else is App Store spending hockey stick graphing through the roof?
Recurring In-App Subscriptions are a major contributor to this, as people move away from one-time purchases in favor of a plan that always allows them access to the newest and “best” features in their desired apps. Consumer spending is also expected to have an impressive 2X growth rate outside of the “Game” apps category.
Apple recently announced that they will be launching new auto-renewable subscriptions features in spring 2019 in an effort to increase conversions and resurrect retention. App Store publishers will soon be given the chance to promote their subscription packages by way of “new offers”. Apps with auto-renewable subscriptions will be able to offer an upgrade for a discounted price to existing customers or make a special offer to a customer who has cancelled their subscription.
All told, these new subscription offers will be a great way to win back subscribers who have canceled, and is likewise a viable opportunity to promote an upgrade to a higher tier at a special price. A customer can choose to accept the offer even if they have already completed an introductory offer of some kind.
Free customers will also be able to access your subscription for a specific period of time of your choosing. For example, you could offer a 30-day trial for a subscription with a standard renewal price of $4.99 per month. “Pay as You Go” customers can also pay a promotional price for each billing period for a specific duration. You could offer $1.99 per month for three months, followed by a standard renewal price of $9.99 per month. “Pay Up Front” customers could pay a one-time promotional price (for example, $9.99) for the first six months of their subscription, then switch to a standard renewal price of $39.99 per year.
2. Mobile Gaming Market Share Will Increase to 60%
With mobile phones tech specs constantly increasing games in 2019 will be less dedicated to platforms and more connected. As a result, Mobile gaming is going to obtain about 60% of the worldwide video game market share, in large part driven by the embrace of casual game users (like the ones bored to death on the subway line trying to smash their personal candy crush best). All told, hyper-casual games with simple gameplay will drive growth in downloads and adoption well into 2019, capturing a significant portion of an audience who may not even traditionally identify themselves as “gamers” to begin with.
Much of this is driven by advancements in mobile multiplayer game mechanics, along with a major leap in cross-platform gameplay. This means that iOS gamers can play Fortnite with gamers on PS4, PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Android. Mobile gaming is also poised to overtake console gaming in terms of raw popularity, releasing more endorphins than ever in global markets where one platform has more market share than another.
One of the biggest contributors to this is anticipated to be “Harry Potter: Wizards Unit,” which is an upcoming release by Niantic. Experts already agree that it will hit $100 million in consumer spend in about 30 days. To give that some context, that’s about twice as fast as the last mobile gaming phenomenon, Pokemon GO. Rumors of 5G and longer battery life advancing mobile gaming at this point sound promising but are not yet in market.
3. Users Will Spend 10 Minutes of Every Hour Consuming Streaming Video on a Mobile Device
Roughly 10 minutes out of every hour spent consuming media will be A) on a mobile device, using B) some type of streaming platform.
Right now, the average person consumes media for about 7.5 hours every day, an entire work day! By the end of the year, the total amount of time spent on video streaming apps alone will have grown by 110% since 2016. Global consumer spending in entertainment-related apps of all kind will have grown by 520%.
Interestingly, it is short-form apps that are driving a lot of this growth. The streaming service YouTube accounts for nearly four out of every five minutes that users spend in the top 10 video streaming apps in the United States. The types of short-form content found on social media are apps like Snapchat and Instagram are driving this as well.
4. Publishers Will Produce 60% More Apps With In-App Ads, Making Up 62% of the $250 Billion Global Digital Ad Spend
As the digital advertising market has already grown to a massive $250 billion industry, mobile app developers continue to capitalize on opportunities to monetize their content — even if that content is technically “free” to begin with. That brings us to the final major mobile app trend to pay attention to for 2019: the fact that about 60% more apps than ever will be monetizing through in-app advertising.
This is true across both rising enthusiast apps like the Pro Angler Fishing App as well as gaming titles, as providers in both categories employ more robust targeting and testing strategies via constantly advancing ad networks. Keep in mind that 62% market share at $155 billion — is being sliced and diced as many types of creative. The IAB has an info-graphic on the types of feed based ads being served on content, social, and product based apps.
In our constant effort to stay relevant with consumers, you must invest time into staying current, or be left behind as the high growth, high velocity mobile app market powers on.