Juniper Research has released its latest report on consumer app downloads to mobile devices.
The report entitled ‘Mobile Apps Stores: Future Business Models & Ecosystem Analysis 2012-2016,’ shows that consumer app downloads are expected to reach more that 66 billion per annum by 2016. This is more than double the 31 billion apps that were downloaded in 2011.
The report also highlighted that nearly 87% of apps will be downloaded free of charge, but publishers can generate revenue through content subscription and virtual item sales. Growth of the sector is currently, and will be driven in the future primarily be smartphones, although Juniper says nearly one in four downloads by 2016 will occur on a tablet.
According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, “Consumers are now demanding 24/7 access to services – retail, financial, information, entertainment – wherever they are. As a result, brands that wish to remain competitive have turned to apps as part of a integrated multichannel distribution system: they have become a critical mechanism to increase engagement and reduce churn.”
The report also indicated that content developers need to learn much more about consumer usage patterns, which will benefit them to optimise billing for the customer. It was also suggested that publishers should try and partner with existent ‘players in the payments space that can offer real-time reporting and analysis of user behaviour patterns prior to – and post – the point of billing.’
Other points that were of significance are that games will continue to be the most popular consumer app, followed by multimedia. In the long term, browser-based apps will dominate. Operators should also consider placing their apps on third party store fronts.