Apple: App store has grossed $70B since 2008
- Apple said its App Store has grossed $70 billion for developers of mobile applications in the past nine years in a company news post. Downloads jumped more than 70% in the past 12 months, the iPhone maker said.
- Gaming and entertainment were the top-grossing app categories, while the photo and video category was the fastest-growing with a 90% jump. The most popular games included Nintendo’s Super Mario Run and Niantic’s Pokémon Go.
- Apple expanded subscription features to all 25 of its app categories, which led to a 58% jump in active paid subscriptions from a year earlier. Subscription-based services include Netflix, Hulu and newcomers like the Tastemade cooking network that’s only available on mobile devices.
Apple’s App Store crossed the $70 billion mark at a time when mobile usage shows signs of being concentrated into a smaller group of the most popular and most used apps. Popular services like Facebook are adding features to keep people in their walled garden instead of using other apps for messaging, photo-sharing or watching video, for example.
Google, social networks and utilitarian apps like maps and messaging are naturally taking a bigger share of time users spend on a smartphone, according to a study by eMarketer. The research forecasts that smartphone usage will decline from an average of 21 apps a month last year to 20 in the next two years as a result of this trend.
The concentration in app usage is reflected in the popularity of Facebook and Google, whose estimated 60% share of the digital ad market has had observers using the term “duopoly” to describe the companies' dominance. The history of digital media shows that dominant players don’t always maintain their grip, however, as James G. Brooks, founder and CEO of ad agency GlassView, wrote last month in an op-ed for MediaPost.
While Apple said games and entertainment were the most popular category, the top 10 games showed a decline in sales last year, according to Sensor Tower data cited by Recode. Pokémon Go was a brief sensation that popularized augmented reality technology, but its daily use peaked in August and then quickly plunged. The game’s in-app revenue in the U.S. hit a monthly high of $50.6 million from the App Store in July, the month the game launched, Recode reported.