The worldwide market for consumer mobile applications will be worth $52 billion a year by 2016, according to a new report from Juniper Research.
The analyst company says that smartphone and tablet adoption will provide the platform for a rapid growth in demand for apps, while the introduction of operator billing across leading storefronts such as the Android Market and Ovi Store has led to a dramatic rise in revenues being generated.
The mass deployment of in-app billing options, has also meant that, for many storefronts, post-download revenues have surpassed those of PPD (Pay-Per-Download).
The growing popularity of tablet devices will also mean that they will account for a greater share of app revenue, going from 7% of the total global app revenue today, to 25% by 2016. More than 31 billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2011.
The report, ‘Mobile Apps Stores: Future Business Models & Ecosystem Analysis 2012-2016', also predicts that the app store model will come under threat with the emergence of HTML5. The introduction of the new markup language standard will reduce end-user dependence on plug-in app technologies, according to Juniper, and facilitate the transition to a browser-based environment. Additionally, the closer integration between web-based apps and handsets should mean that the advantage that native apps have is reduced. This in turn offers great opportunities for content publishers to offer content on-site rather than be reliant on storefront distribution.
Dr Windsor Holden, author of the report commented: "While we are likely to see some larger media publishers - particularly those dependent on subscription revenues - migrating to a direct-to-consumer model (D2C), this is by no means true for the majority of companies. Most do not possess the scale of traffic to make D2C a viable option: in most cases, the storefront will continue to be the optimal discovery and distribution mechanism."